Third session of Youth and Police Initiative graduates on Friday

Sgt. Lydia Taylor, 509.481.8565

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 11:35 a.m.

The Spokane Police Department has launched a new community engagement program called the Youth and Police Initiative (YPI). Through YPI, law enforcement and community organizations work together to build more positive relationships between participating youth, the community and law enforcement.

  • Graduation from the third session of YPI is Friday April 4 at 4 p.m., at The West Central Community Center, 1603 N Belt.
  • Spokane Police would like to thank Papa John's Pizza for sponsoring the event by providing discount pizza to the program every night.

The ultimate goal of YPI is to enhance police officer understanding of the beliefs, values, and experiences of local youth, and to promote positive police/youth interaction. YPI participants experience facilitated discussion, team-building exercises and reality-based training scenarios. From these experiences, youth and police develop new initiatives to enhance community policing.

Spokane Police partnered with the North American Family Institute (NAFI) to coordinate the YPI program. Participating youth are selected by local community leaders. Participating police officers will attend each session. Additionally, patrol officers in each of the selected neighborhoods will meet and interact with the youth during the workshop.

Following the implementation of YPI programs in the police departments of Baltimore, Boston, White Plans, and Yonkers, participants demonstrated an increased capacity to productively engage with adolescents within urban communities. According to North American Family Institute, the YPI program pro-actively assisted officers in reducing street violence in the following ways:

  • 50% increase in police officers' understanding of adolescent development.
  • 65% increase in police officer knowledge of urban socialization issues.
  • 50% improvement in the use of effective communication strategies involving de-escalation, crisis intervention and problem-solving skills.

Chief Straub successfully implemented YPI in both White Plains, NY and Indianapolis, IN.

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