A Pittsburgh police officer is taking a unique approach to community policing.
Officer David Shifren is using chess to teach children about the consequences of their actions in the game of life.
The Pittsburgh Police Chess Club started at the Hazelwood Library and is now citywide, with dozens of children taking part.
“The queen is my favorite piece and it’s the powerful one,” 7-year-old Izahir Harris said.
Shifren said chess teaches crucial life skills by “thinking about the consequences and what will happen if you take this course or that course.”
He learned to play chess as a child, and appreciates that he can share time with today’s youth.
“I like meeting with the kids and getting to know the neighborhood kids just to see how their day went,” Officer Tiffay Costa, Pittsburgh police community resource officer. “It’s nice. It really is community building,”
Shifren said he encourages kids to think before they move and, win or lose, there’s always another game.
The club is open to City of Pittsburgh students ages 8 through 16. All levels of players, from beginners to advanced, are encouraged to attend.
There is no cost to join and all necessary materials will be provided. The club meets weekly after school and is led by Pittsburgh police officers at the following locations:
Hazelwood Carnegie Library, Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m.
Beechview Carnegie Library, Wednesdays, 4-5 p.m.
Sheraden Carnegie Library, Thursdays, 4-5 p.m.
Dan Marino Fieldhouse, Frazier/Dawson Streets, Thursdays, 5-7 p.m.
Knoxville Carnegie Library. *Starting in February. Days and times to be announced.
For more information about the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Junior Chess Clubs, call Zone 4 at 412-422-6559.
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