Nationwide Rollout of “Cops & Kids” Trainings Begin
Working with the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education and Families, with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, we’ve begun a nationwide rollout of our award-winning professional development training for police “One on One: Connecting Cops and Kids.” Our first training took place in Nashville, TN. A second day-long training in July will target Youngstown, Ohio. Six more trainings across the country are scheduled through the end of the calendar year and at least a dozen more are in the planning stages for 2012.
These trainings are funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). This two-year grant is enabling us to stage this nationwide rollout of “One on One: Connecting Cops & Kids.” Its goal is to help officers increase their effectiveness when interacting with children and teens.
While this is a different audience for our work, the messages of “Cops & Kids” focus on building relationships and connecting with the community that were a part of Fred Rogers’ essential messages to children and families. “We developed ‘Cops & Kids’ to help build less adversarial and more collaborative and trusting relationships among police officers and children and families,” said Fred Rogers Company President Bill Isler. “By doing so we can increase the safety of not only children and teens, but also police officers. We can help prevent crime. We can increase cooperation with investigations and help dispel a climate of fear.”
This training program gives officers the tools they need to build trust among children and families in the communities they serve; increases their safety and effectiveness while on patrol; helps them promote greater cooperation and reporting of criminal activity; strengthens partnerships with social service agencies that provide protective services to children; and enhances officers' ability to improve public safety.
For more information about this exciting project visit the website www.copsandkids.org