CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago police officers put on their bowling shoes and spent the morning hanging out with inner-city kids Thursday in an annual event that this year also became a trust-building experience.

The annual Shop With A Cop event, co-sponsored by the Israel Idonije Foundation, brought together officers with hundreds of children. Former Bears’ player Israel Idonije said this year, in the wake of the Laquan McDonald crisis, it was especially important.

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“During times of unrest, you need to open your hearts and your minds and love the people around you and welcome people in. Because that’s how you progress,” he said.

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Officer John Considine said repairing the frayed relationship with the African-American community falls to every cop.

“Every day, I try personally to try to mend that relationship a little bit, and I think my partner and I try to do a good job doing that, and I think most of the officers in the department are really making an effort to do that,” he said.

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Many of the children said they were having fun just hanging out, bowling, and then shopping with their new-found friends on the force.