HICKSVILLE - More than 60 kids learned a lesson about gang violence Wednesday afternoon in Hicksville.

The Nassau Police Athletic League basketball summer camp held the awareness program in an effort to create bonds between the youth and neighborhood law enforcement.  

Ed Dempsey, the program director of the camp, says gangs are a continuing problem on Long Island. He hopes the kids can get a sense of belonging through the camp so they can make smart decisions if confronted by a gang.

"We try to  mentor the kids and let them know there's somebody they can come to speak to if they are having problems and feel like they may be going in the wrong direction,” says Sgt. Doug Kenah, commanding officer of Nassau County PAL.

The Nassau PAL says nearly 500 kids participated in its summer camps this season.