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Police officers connect with community through basketball at South Shore Day Camps in East Rockaway

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In an effort to foster a strong relationship between police officers and the community, dozens of NYPD-themed blue basketballs were donated to the South Shore Day Camps basketball camp in East Rockaway this summer.

The balls were a gift from William Long, the son of an NYPD officer who was killed in the line of duty. They were inscribed with NYPD and the name of Phillip Cardillo, an officer who was shot in the line of duty.

Cardillo was shot while responding to a false report of an officer needing assistance at the Nation of Islam Mosque No. 7 in Harlem on April 14, 1972. He succumbed to his injuries six days later at Saint Luke’s Hospital at age 31.

“These balls are all in the spirit of community and police working together,” Camp Director Joe Lores told the campers on Aug. 2. “Policemen are our friends. They’re the people that help us when we’re in trouble.”

Nassau County Police Department Officer Gary Zima handed out the balls to the campers.