Pastors roleplay as police at Stratford Police HQ

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STRATFORD -

To help a group of Stratford pastors get a better understanding of how officers feel during tense encounters, police hosted a simulation Wednesday where the clergymen played the role of cops.

Among them is the Rev. John Green, who says the exercise teaches a valuable lesson.

"Policemen are not our enemies," he says. "They're our friends, and they're here to protect us."

Since the pastors work with young people, the drills aimed to build a bridge between the department and the community. 

"People can see the perspective we have when we make a stop," says Chief Joe McNeil. "It's not personal. There's certain protocols we got to go through."

Police say there are also things a person can do during a traffic stop to make the officer feel safe, too.

"We both just want to get out of there and make as limited an interaction as possible," McNeil says.

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