The effort to mend a broken relationship between police and the communities they serve took place at St. Paul’s community Church. A program called “Black and Blue Side By Side” paired uniformed officers with volunteers who agreed to a black and white photo shoot.
“It’s a way of bringing together two groups of people generally seen as being at odds: African-American men and police officers,” said Al Wasco, project coordinator
Wasco started the program last summer. He said he got tired of the division police and race relations were causing.
“I support police,” said Trevor Satterwaide, a high school sophomore. “I feel like the officers want to be good friends with the community and the community is still kind of nervous and worked up.”
“It’s a very simple concept of bringing an African-American man or woman to stand next to a police officer,” said Keith Sulzer, a Cleveland police Captain. “The Cleveland police, we’re trying. We’re doing these things to make the difference.”
Wasco said pictures from his project will likely be displayed in January, at a local art gallery.