As a District Captain, I am briefed and read about the cases that occur in the East District. There are frequently cases and work done by MPD officers that touches my heart. I will share with you a recent example. I will not share details or names out of respect for the dignity of those youth and families directly involved.
In policing we continually see just how harsh and cruel people can be with their own family or household. Recently a child who had participated in one of our youth academies was contacted by officers during the course of an investigation into a crime committed in the home. The child was a witness to the violence, and very distraught by the experience. Dealing with distraught youth is tough, and this case was no exception. One of the responding officers knew the child from a youth academy, as well as other community contacts. When the child saw the officer he ran, and grabbed onto the officer, calling him by name. The officer was able to work with the child during the investigation. Being able to have someone you know, who has extended compassion and understanding to you in the past, respond during your time of crisis.....priceless.
While it does not happen to this level every day, this is not an isolated event, and it struck me again with how important the roles of community outreach activities are to help to form relationships. These relationships are the cornerstone to building trust between people. Cop people and community people.
The MPD Youth Academies are a week long and strive to break down barriers and build a relationship for increased understanding. Every year officers from across the department sign on to assist with the academies, as well as participate in other community relationship building events with youth.
The true value of these programs cannot be measured.
Thank you for engaging with us and giving us a chance to serve.
For additional information on the youth academies look here: