The relationship between police officers and the public has been tested several times in the past couple of years, and it's making an impression on children.
"You know, these young kids are hearing everything that is going on across the country, and unfortunately, we are getting painted with the same brush," said Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. "We are trying to interrupt that information from getting into their heads."
A family appreciation celebration at Harambee Park in Dorchester Sunday was a chance to change the perception.
"We don't want them growing up thinking that we are the enemy," said Evans.
That won't be a problem in the Barker family.
"We do have police officers in our family, so the kids get to see what they do all the time because we are surrounded by them," said Patrice Barker of Dorchester.
That's a concept that here 6-year-old son, Isaiah, understands well.
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"If something's wrong, you just tell them, if it's an emergency," he told necn.
He also said he wants to be a police officer when he's older.
Commissioner Evans says the department is trying to reach more younger students in schools and at Boys and Girls Clubs.