Synergy Students Build Relationships and Gain Perspective Through SBDI
Posted on 05/30/2022
Synergy Students and East Hartford Officers SBDI Program

A group of Synergy students worked alongside East Hartford police officers this year to help improve student/police relations and to help make the community a better place.

Funded through a state grant, the School-Based Diversion Initiative got these groups together twice a week to talk, play basketball and share a meal.

“We talk about the community like what police go through, and what we go through in school and out of school. We talk like family,” said Synergy Student Brianna Williams-Kovallo.

Together they discussed topics such as issues facing adolescents, issues facing police, how adolescents can support police and how together they can build a stronger, safer community. Along the way, they learned a lot about one another.

“It did feel a little awkward and uncomfortable in the beginning, but the officers really made it more enjoyable. You got to see them for more than just their uniform,’ said Synergy student Antonio Roman. “I would probably just say be careful about how you judge their situations out in the real world.”

Community Service Officer David Flores admits he wasn’t sure the program would work. But when he learned the students wanted to be there and were open to these conversations, it was a great experience for both parties he hopes will have a lasting impact.

“I think they got to see a different side of, not just our police department, but policing in general, which I think is very important, because just having a simple conversation with someone you can actually get a different perspective,” said Officer Flores. “Those types of conversations were priceless.”

Synergy student Anthony Dennis said, “It helped me out. It helped me be able to want to help other people.”

“Talking to the cops, it made me want to go to the academy and become a cop,” he said.