NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - The students at Alfred E. Smith campus in Mott Haven are taking the stage to spread a message close to their hearts.
This past spring - cops from the NYPD's School Safety Division went around to four high school campuses in the Bronx to get students involved in their "My School Has Rhythm Not Violence" competition. Officers spent a week at each campus-bonding with the teens and helping them create a performance that not only spreads a message- but strengthens police-community ties.
For 10th grade rapper, Sebasthian Mathew, this was an eye-opening experience.
"Before the competition I'm not even going to lie, I hated cops," said Sebasthian.
But after the final talent show, which resulted with this group's creativity beating out the three other schools - in an auditorium full of judges, Sebasthian's opinion changed.
After winning the competition - these students created a music video, which has more than 3,000 views on YouTube.
Even after the competition - the students and the community outreach officers continue to talk nearly every day. The cops say they come to the school regularly to check in on the students. They're also bringing this program to Queens later this year, so that they can spread the message of nonviolence there.