NYPD hosts annual Harmony Day at Van Cortlandt Park

Posted: Updated:
VAN CORTLANDT PARK -

The NYPD’s annual festival meant to bring the community together for family fun got off to a rainy start Tuesday.

More than 100 people turned out for the Harmony Day Picnic in Van Cortlandt Park.

The day features carnival games, bounce houses, sports and raffles.

Organizers say the annual event has been going on for three decades. They say each borough hosts its own picnic day with several hundred children usually attending, but that the Bronx is the biggest, attracting 4,000 7 to 12-year-olds last year.

Most of the children come from summer camps around the Bronx as well as church groups and individuals who signed up. Each of the borough's 12 precincts are represented with teens from the explorer’s programs and children in the youth police academy excited for the big day.

Organizers tell News 12 it's all about strengthening the relationship between police and the community while the kids say they're just grateful for a fun day in the park.

“A lot of times, our neighborhood kids only see us when something negative occurs so this is a way to have fun with us, see us in a low stress situation, have safe fun, get to know us and feel comfortable around us,” says Lt. Lori Perez, event organizer.

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