STAMFORD - Stamford police challenged dozens of local kids to a basketball game Saturday at the Chester Addison Community Center.

Officers say the basketball game is part of the Mighty Mites program to keep children and teenagers off the streets and show them that police do not only show up when something goes wrong. The program was launched after two Stamford police officers brought kids off the street and into the police gym.

Officers say the relationships they've forged have helped prevent crime. According to one officer, about 95 to 98 percent of the kids who attended the basketball game know the officers by first name. Stamford police believe the program helps build trust and friendship between the police officers and neighborhood children.

The Mighty Mites league is run entirely on corporate donations, so it is free for players and their families.