HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A new center where parents, students and at-risk teens can learn ways to prevent violence in their neighborhoods, is opening in Hartford.

“We are training individuals the moms, the uncles, to dads, everybody, in the community to become licensed intervenors to work with those children, “said Francine Austin of the Brother Carl Hardrick Institute.

The Brother Carl Hardrick Institute just finished its first class with 36 Community leaders, who all have the same thing in common with Brother Carl, they care deeply.

“We have the hospital systems coming in and being involved, both on what they do for gun violence as well as mental health, said Joann Price Co-chair of the Brother Carl Hardrick Institute.

The basketball court is a pivotal point whether it has been turned into a red carpet gala for the grand opening or as the center of the police activities league, where the community and police work together to keep youth on the right path.

“The people that we serve, I was them at one time, and somebody came and gave me that safe place and that opportunity and now I am able to get back to the community,” said Jamal Folston of Hartford.

17-year-old Daishion Morrison understands how important it is to stay off the streets and out of trouble. He’s a model athlete and student when he graduates high school, he wants to start down the path to becoming a lawyer.

“Talking to the cops they tell you how you have to get to law school and everything, they try and help you with a way out, if you need help with the homework they’re always there to help,” said Morrison.

Some of the students have been coming to pal since they were three years old, and the officers have become part of their family.

“A lot of the kids that you get to know and you’ve seen grow up through the different leagues through the different years they remember you remember them and sometimes they still send me a text message and the families wish me a happy birthday or Merry Christmas,” said Waterbury Police Officer Jason Fusco.

Whether it’s Waterbury or Hartford, the message is the same, to quote brother Carl Hardrick, “it’s not how much you know in the community but how much you care that makes the difference.”