(Photo by DNAinfo/Shayna Jacobs

On Thursday, June 1, Monsignor Farrell High School held a Life Skills workshop on "How to Communicate with Law Enforcement." 65 student-athletes listened closely during this workshop, which was given by Al Ebanks, Esq. Ebanks has been an attorney in New York for 25 years.  He has worked in the Bronx DA's office, and has represented police captains, as well as ordinary citizens. 

In his talk, Ebanks explained how student-athletes should communicate with law enforcement, whether inside or outside of a courtroom. He walked through the thought process law enforcement officers have and why they take the actions that they do. He additionally provided examples of how a citizen should or should not act. Ebanks further enriched the talk by giving anecdotes from both sides of the law.  

A handout was provided with key takeaways student-athletes should have from the talk. The handout can be found here

Barry Hart, Assistant Coach at Wingate and BTS alumni, found the talk to be relevant. "It's important for the kids to understand how the job of the officer affects them and that officer's goal in a situation is for the citizen to respond correctly," said Hart. Hart noted that the kids were very engaged and seemed eager to understand the appropriate responses should they ever be in a situation like the ones discussed.  Hart praised Ebanks, saying he "did a good job of giving both sides of a situation—the perspective of the officer and the citizen." 

After the talk, wrestlers seemed to have more informed views of both sidesAshley Mojica, a sophomore at Wingate High School, felt that the class taught the wrestlers multiple ways with which they could "stay in control of a situation where you may sometimes feel uncomfortable." James Ryan, a sophomore at Monsignor Farrell, felt like he had a greater understanding of "where the police are coming from and the safety precautions they must take to do their job." 

As described by Peter Hamm, Coach at Monsignor Farrell High School, the workshop was "eye-opening for many attendees."

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