FC Tulsa, Tulsa police launch project to help improve relationships between officers and local youth

TULSA, Okla. — FC Tulsa and the Tulsa Police Department are launching a project to help build relationships between officers and young Tulsans in the community, the club announced Wednesday.

“Project eNGAGE” is expected to have Tusla police officers from the department’s Community Engagement Unit hosting monthly gatherings at community centers where local kids can play Esports, FIFA and Rocket League, listen to guest speakers and enjoy a meal with officers.

FC Tulsa says they will support the project by managing the events and coordinating with guest speakers.

“The Tulsa Police Department is proud to join forces with FC Tulsa for Project eNGAGE,” said Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin.

“The TPD Community Engagement Unit is always looking for ways to foster positive interactions between officers and the youth of Tulsa, and this new program will help provide a fun and safe environment to help build those relationships.”

Funding for the project comes with the help of donations from the Tulsa community.

“Numerous donations and funding from the Tulsa community have allowed the project to become a reality. Local Walmarts have donated 10 TVs for use, while the Tulsa Hills GameStop donated 10 PS4s. FC Tulsa’s Official Supporters Group, 83 United, purchased copies of FIFA, Rocket League and Madden, and a local Target and a local printer, TPSi, also each donated $500 to go towards the initiative.”

—  Tulsa Police Department

“It has been so heartwarming to see all corners of our city stepping up to help us get Project eNGAGE off the ground,” said FC Tulsa president James Cannon.

“We pride ourselves on being more than just a sports team, but instead an organization that builds a better Tulsa community every day. This opportunity to help bridge the divide between our local police force and the under-resourced youth in our city is another chance for FC Tulsa to live up to that calling.”

Project eNGAGE kicks off on March 25 from 3:30-5 p.m. at the Tulsa Dream Center in north Tulsa, featuring Oklahoma Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell as the guest speaker, joined by Chief Franklin.

The second Project eNGAGE event is scheduled for March 31 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Tulsa Hope Academy and will feature Franklin as the guest speaker, while 36 Degrees North CEO Devon Laney will be the guest speaker on April 6 from 3-5 p.m. at The Common Good’s Northwest Tulsa Hub.

More details on the project can be found here.

Ryan Love, FOX23 News

Ryan Love is a Digital Content Producer for FOX23 News in Tulsa. A Detroit area native, Ryan joined FOX23 in June 2018 after graduating from Wayne State University with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Ryan handles day-to-day digital content and social media strategy for the station.