The Chicago Police Department on May 22 welcomed young women and their fathers—or stand-ins from the department—at its first father-daughter dance.

The free event invited fathers and their daughters to spend a special evening with each other. Some of the girls were from crime and poverty stricken neighborhoods, according to NBC Chicago affiliate WMAQ, and a commander, sergeant, or officer stood in place for the girls whose fathers were absent.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing because some people don’t really associate with their fathers,” said 13-year-old Brejay Payne. “So once you come out, dressed up, and dance, eat, and play with your father, it’s kind of a nice day.”

Amid ongoing tensions between the Black community and police nationwide, the event shone a positive light in the community.

“They actually get to see us find out that the police are nothing but people. We just happen to have uniforms on,” said Cmdr. Larry Watson.

The officers, fathers and their daughters were dressed in formal attire and enjoyed refreshments and dancing.

The event was planned by Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy offices around the city as well as the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. It follows a father-daughter dance held earlier this year by education advocacy nonprofit The Black Star Project, intended to promote the importance of strong male relationships in young women’s lives.