The Department proudly reports the successful completion of our 2022 Youth-Police Initiative Program. Congratulations and thanks to the 17 local teens that participated and to all of the men and women of the Department that invested the effort in this valuable program.
The Youth Police Initiative program of the North American Institute is a promising prevention and early intervention program. The approach is to build trust between law enforcement, teenagers and their families.
The program brings together a group of teenagers with police officers that patrol their neighborhoods to participate in interactive/structured training. At the core of the YPI training is an integration of a trauma-informed and restorative justice process that allows participating youth and police officers to “re-invent” the way they connect and communicate that is not only positive but healing, breaking down the negative stereotypes that often color the relationships between police and young people humanizing the challenges that each one faces.
The program was held the from March 28th through April 1st.
The first three sessions which ran two + hours each, consisted of preparatory training. The participants worked on public speaking in order to help them tell their life stories based on choices they have made in the areas of family, school, community and among their peers.
The next two days were spent sharing their experiences with the participating officers. The training also incorporated interactive techniques that address team building, practical understanding of police approaches and scenarios geared to invoke constructive discussions about positive ways that youth and police can interact.
The officers also shared some of the difficult choices they have made growing up and as police officers. At the end of the training there was a graduation dinner for all participants and their families.