Elgin teenagers and police officers spent Tuesday afternoon weaving colorful yarn to make hats and scarves to donate to social service agencies.
The Elgin Police Department partnered with Gail Borden Public Library for the first Elgin Teen Life, a new series of monthly events designed to help make connections between officers and 13- to 19-year-olds.
Billie Jo Moffett, director of the library's Studio 270 teen center, showed about six officers and 15 teenagers how to work with looms.
Emily Renteria, 17, a student at Larkin High School, said she had a good time and plans to attend more Elgin Teen Life events. "I'm getting a good lesson from the police," she said.
Garrett Bowers, 16, also a student at Larkin, said the event helped him accrue volunteer hours for his college resume.
Cmdr. Ana Lalley called it "an excellent start" to the initiative, which will feature a video and moviemaking class in the spring. Police officers have traditionally engaged with youths through sports, but some kids are not into that, she said.
"We are excited to engage in a unique way with our youth," she said.
The police department also is working on creating a teen committee. About 25 youths attended an informational meeting earlier this month, and a second meeting is scheduled in March, Lalley said.