LEWISTON — Bates College students and Lewiston police are working together to overcome town vs. gown tensions.

Groups of Bates students have recently been sitting down over coffee with local police officers. They’ve been playing hockey together and once the weather improves, they’ll be playing softball, too.

Plans are in the works to have Bates students do internships with the Lewiston police.

The gatherings were the idea of Bates sophomore Audrey Zafirson and freshman Andrew Segal, who tell the Sun Journal they were bothered by the contentious relationship between students and city police.

Previously, the only time police and students mingled was when a campus party went out of control. Student-police interactions were almost always unpleasant.

Chief Michael Bussiere says both sides are benefiting with a better understanding of the other.