Strengthening Teen Engagement with Police Program
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
This program was designed with the Tow Youth Justice Institute, Center for Advanced Policing at the University of New Haven, and the Connecticut Institute for Youth and Police Relations. Officers McNally and St. Pierre attended trainings led by University of New Haven’s Doctor Danielle Cooper and Doctor Lorenzo Boyd. At these trainings, officers from the Greater Hartford County were taught about youth development, the effect of early trauma on youth and their families, leadership skills with youth, and were then assigned the task of creating a program which embodies what they learned during the eight month formal training.
In response to this assignment, in conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club of Bristol, Bristol Youth and Community Services, the Bristol Board of Education, and various local businesses, Officers St. Pierre and McNally created the Strengthening Teen Engagement with Police Program (STEP).
STEP is a six week discussion based mentorship program designed to reduce negative police interaction and promote positive future contacts. The goal of the program is to build trust between youth and police by creating genuine relationships as a means to promote positive future interactions. Youth will learn about modern policing and officers will learn youth perspectives. Both groups will be encouraged to share their experiences and opinions so we may grow as people together and form interpersonal relationships lasting beyond the program. Each week’s conversations will be related to different facets of policing with a K9 demonstration, car stop scenarios, and a real time decision making simulation, as well as discussions based upon on these topics and current events. The final session will be a celebration of completion within the city where Officers and youth can interact freely and enjoy a fun, shared experience.
This program specifically focuses on high school aged young adults in Bristol. Participants will be selected from both Bristol Eastern High School and Bristol Central High School.
Due to COVID restrictions, this program will be limited to 20 high school aged young adults selected by their school counsellors as good candidates for the program.
Applications for the Spring Session are now open apply below.
Sessions will be held six consecutive Tuesday nights in April and May. The final session will be a celebration of completion within the city where Officers and youth can interact freely and enjoy a fun, shared experience.
This program will be hosted twice a year with a new set of participants each session.
Any questions about the program please reach out to STEP@bristolct.gov.