NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- This summer, children in Newport News will have more opportunities to get to know their community police officers.

Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power, awarded a $50,000 grant to the Newport News Police Foundation to fund its Police and Pals mobile playgrounds.

The program's purpose is to allow children to interact in a positive way with police officers and to expand recreational opportunities for youth in neighborhoods that may be lacking in recreational resources. Trust is encouraged between youth and police officers through interactions in a relaxed, one-on-one setting that is positive for both.

PHOTOS: Dominion Resources awards $50K to Newport News Police Foundation

“Having reached the end of the school year, we are thrilled to support this program that will let kids be kids and enjoy their summer, while building community trust and vitality,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation, Dominion’s charitable arm.

Dominion says the program gives officers the opportunity to reach out in neighborhoods throughout the city of Newport News and build confidence and a better understanding of the role of police in the community.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Dominion,” said Amanda Wroten, Development Coordinator for the Newport News Police Foundation. “Through their generosity, we not only are able to launch this program, but will have funding available to update the toys, giveaway items, and ensure the program continues for years to come.”

Newport News police officers take the mobile play centers to events at schools and community centers, like the South Morrison Community Center where the Police and Pals program will participate in their annual “Cookout with a Cop” event on Tuesday, June 22nd.

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