Nothing creates teamwork like knowing you've got to pull in the same direction as the person next to you to be successful.

And becoming part of a team through that shared effort allows you, almost forces you, to get to know each other.

So it was recently for a group of local young people and police officers. They "pulled'' water in the same direction, paddling kayaks in the Merrimack River, negotiating sometimes powerful currents together.

This team-building exercise called Haverhill Police-Youth Dialogues was created to provide a safe, structured way for young people and police officers to spend time together, speak openly and build trust.

The effort involved Haverhill Police and two local youth organizations — Haverhill VIP (Violence Intervention and Prevention) and POSE (Power of Self-Education).

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