NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Officers with the New Orleans Police Department showed off their skills and their kindness with children in New Orleans East Saturday.

The Youth Empowerment Project and New Orleans Pelicans hosted a March Madness day to give children in the East an indoor activity on a cold day.

“We’re doing this to create opportunities for young people to come out in New Orleans East and have a safe space to play basketball and enjoy one another,” YEP Music and Arts Director Nakita Shavers said.

Children were able to hone their basketball skills with drills and 5 on 5 games, then watch YEP organizers play the NOPD.

“It’s important for NOPD to come out here to help bridge that gap between civilians and law enforcement and also show our human side cause we are humans with the kids of the community,” Sgt. Darius Henry said.

“Being able to connect the kids with our local law enforcement to really humanize them and let them know they are the friendly supporters who actually has a little bit of a game to play in basketball,” New Orleans Pelicans’ Elicia Broussard Sheridan said.