In an effort to reduce tension between local youth and police, we began holding Police / Youth Dialogue sessions hosted by the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding.
These sessions put officers and local at-risk youth in the same room to have an open and honest discussion. Sessions are held once a month and help breakdown and understand the behavior of both youth and officers. They discuss similarities, and their own hopes and dreams. We even have role-playing sessions where we let the kids act as the cops in certain scenarios!
At the conclusion of the sessions there is a one-on-one dinner between a youth and an officer.