Ofc. Teresa Fuller
Friday, July 18, 2014 at 10:38 a.m.
The Spokane Police Department Youth and Police Initiative (YPI) will graduate the program’s sixth class TODAY, July 18th, 2014 at 4 p.m., at Crosswalk, 525 W. 2nd.
YPI is a one week program promoting positive interactions between the Spokane Police Department and Spokane youth. This session of YPI was different because of the youth who chose to become involved. Spokane Police contacted Crosswalk to see if there was interest in holding YPI at that location. Crosswalk was very supportive of hosting the program so our officers could engage with downtown youth. The initial days of the program were spent overcoming barriers, but the week ended with both police and the downtown youth being able to share their concerns and perspectives on downtown issues and build relationships of trust and understanding.
Through YPI, the Spokane Police Department and community organizations work together to build more positive relationships between participating youth, the community and law enforcement.
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.
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. The Spokane Police department is now running this program with a cadre of YPI trainers and trained officers and is looking to expand the program. If you have a group interested in participating, please contact Ofc. Jennifer DeRuwe at 509.209.7178.