BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) — Beloit police are trying to break stereotypes held by officers and young people by hosting a friendly game of kickball.

“It definitely gave me a different vision [of] the police,” said Dalton Montgomery. “I wasn’t a fan of them at first.”

Montgomery and Rico Yardbrough are enrolled in Community Action‘s “Beloit Fresh Start” Program, which provides education and job training to at-risk teens and young adults. Thursday’s game at ABC Supply Stadium was part of an ongoing partnership between Beloit Fresh Start and the Beloit Police Department.

“We’re making sure that the police department is involved with our kids, make sure they know who we are on a first name basis, on a last name basis,” said Beloit Chief of Police Andre Sayles.

Sayles says the department has been working to build relationships in the community for the last five years, including teaching kids about their legal rights, how to defend themselves, and providing mentorship.

“We need to be champions of our kids, because one day they’re going to be leaders of this community,” Sayles said.

“They’ve been going above and beyond to do things for us,” said Montgomery. “To show us that they’re not how everybody envisions them,” Yardbrough added.

Beloit Police Captain Christian Dalton says that is the goal, to break stereotypes. “We want to spend time with these young people. But… they’ve taught us a few things along the way about our stereotypes towards them,” he said.

Montgomery and Yardbrough say they believe the Beloit Police Department are looking out for them.

“They want to be involved,” said Montgomery about the police. “They actually care more than a lot of people think they do, and especially in Beloit.”

“I can’t speak for any other police force, but the [Beloit] Police, they definitely care about us,” he added.

The Beloit Police Department is working to make the kickball game an annual event.