Preventing crime also can mean a soccer game

Barrio Claret, Florida Norte and Barrio México have benefited from the efforts of police officers who used their free time to fix up some sports facilities there. That includes a basketball court and a fútbol cinco installation adjacent to a children’s play area in Barrio Claret.

Police participated in five-player soccer games with the neighbors and used donated paint to spruce up the bleachers of the soccer area and also the children’s play area.

The goal, of course, is crime prevention as citizens are encouraged to use facilities that might otherwise host criminals. Sports also is a way to keep youngsters occupied, as well as cultural events, officers noted. The idea is credited to Alexánder Meneses, who directs the police in the Distrito de Mereced of which the barrios are a part.

The barrios are in north San José and are generally working-class neighborhoods.

In a symbolic act, children in the area dipped their hands into paint and then left their handprints on a column police had erected to show that they and not crooks have possession of the installations, said officers.

Police also staged a weekend fiesta with traditional dancing and local music as well as the five-player soccer game between police officers and youngsters of the Liceo de San José.

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