YOUTH POLICE PROGRAM
HISTORY OF YOUTH POLICE PROGRAM
The Youth Police Program was developed by the Department Safety, Law & Order Committee, in conjunction with the Illinois State Police in a meeting at the State Police Academy in October of 1971.
The primary purpose of the Youth Police Program is to establish an inter-personal relationship between the youth of our State and Law Enforcement Officers, in order to create a better understanding of the problems and attitudes of both groups, and to develop a rapport between youth and the police.
It is our intention that the youth attending this program need not necessarily be interested in a career in Law Enforcement. In fact, we feel that those youths who do not seem to have vocational or scholastic direction may benefit the most from this program. It is really our desire to recruit the average youth representing all communities and cultural backgrounds in the State of Illinois in an effort to rekindle in our youth the fading respect for persons empowered with the responsibility of enforcing the law at all levels of government.
This goal can be better accomplished by exposing these youths to Law Enforcement with an opportunity to objectively witness the rigid training and standards set forth in law enforcement today. The program gives the participant the opportunity to seek answers to questions that will help them better understand why police officers take certain actions that may directly or indirectly affect them. During this program these youths are each given an opportunity and encouraged to express their feelings and views, both in classroom situations and in the daily informational sessions with their police counselors.
Finally, it is our desire that each youthful participant shall return to their community with a clearer understanding of the police and their problems. We are confident that this program will instill in these youth a new found respect for the police, and that when they return to their communities and friends, they will "tell it like it is."