July 26 ‘KOPS’ program planned for children and youth at Robert L. Taylor Community Complex in Sarasota

City of Sarasota Parks and Recreation staff partnering with Sarasota Police Department on event

The City of Sarasota Parks and Recreation Department and the Sarasota Police Department (SPD) are partnering to present a free, after-hours program for children and teens, ages 8 to 15, that will be conducted at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex on Wednesday, July 26, the Police Department has announced.

The Taylor Complex stands at 1845 John Rivers St. in Newtown.

Called Kids and Officers Promoting Solidarity (KOPS), the program involves participants playing sports — including basketball, soccer, kickball and indoor games — with SPD officers “in a fun and safe environment,” a news release explains. Food and refreshments will be provided free of charge.

Tara Green sees the program as a great opportunity for youngsters to build a positive relationship with law enforcement personnel, the release notes. Green says the officers participating in the event will be those whom her daughter, Aja, will see in their community, and the KOPS program can help Aja feel comfortable asking for help if she needs it, the release adds.

“There’s a lot the city is doing that’s helping to build our sense of family” Green said in the release. “I grew up here, and I want my kids to be members of this community, be safe, and feel good about it,” she added.

Aja, 11, also attends summer camp at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, the release points out. “She loves playing sports. hanging out in the game room and making new friends.”

“It sounds like there’s going to be so much to do,” Aja said of the July 26 event in the release. “I think the sports will be the best. I really like playing soccer because I’m very fast.”

The program will be offered in two sessions, the release notes:

  • 5 to 7 p.m., for ages 8 to 11.
  • 7 to 9 p.m., for ages 12 to 15

Space is limited to 25 per age group, the release points out. Registration, which is required, is available by visiting this link.

Registration also may be completed in person at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex. For more information, call 941-263-6562.