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'Impact Tampa' event aims to help teens and law enforcement build positive bonds

Posted at 1:13 PM, Jan 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 19:05:15-05

A community activist is banding together with local experts to help teens and law enforcement build positive bonds. The information these teens learn Saturday could save lives, including their own. 

The "Impact Tampa" event is happening at the Dream Center of Tampa Saturday. Experts like the Hillsborough County Sheriff, an attorney focusing on civil rights and judge will be speaking with more than 150 teenagers. 

Tampa Bay's annual Gasparilla Celebration kicks off with Children's Parade on Saturday Jan. 20th

"We need to bring together both sides and teach them through education how to work together and how to connect and have healthy relationships in Tampa, that way we don't have to wait for a problem," area director of Tampa Urban Young Life Russell Johnson said. 

Attorney Michael Maddux said, he's worked cases where someone's actions escalate the response from law enforcement, and it doesn't have to happen that way. That can happen during a traffic stop.

"You reach over into your glove box, or you're fidgeting down low, officers know that firearms and weapons are kept in those locations so they want to see your hands," Maddux said.

That's the kind of advice Maddux plans to share and discuss. There are still more than 50 spots open for the four-hour event, that includes PDQ lunch, all free of charge. 

"I want to change things for my kids, for our city, so that way they don't have to struggle with these issues," Johnson said. 

Dream Center of Tampa is located at 2806 N. 15th Street in Tampa. 813-374-8999.

To reach Johnson and sign up for the event, call 813-389-5144. Registration starts 10 a.m. Saturday.