The Police and Youth Grant Program, funded by Connecticut’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee, supports initiatives to improve interactions between police and youth. The goals of the program are to promote youth development and increase the numbers of police officers who are experienced and comfortable working and interacting with youth. These projects provide funding of up to $10,000 to increase or enhance opportunities for youth and police to work together to benefit their local community. The typical project has an “adventure-based” team-building component, multiple opportunities for police and youth to interact in a non-enforcement setting, a community service project, and a concluding statewide recognition event.
- Involve patrol officers without regular interaction with youth, and who attend the one-day “Effective Police Interactions with Youth” training
- Plan for and with a small mixed group (15-25) of youth in Grades 6-12
- Offer a series of appealing activities to youth and officers at group sessions
- Ensure youth leadership roles and non-authoritarian roles by police (no teaching)
- Hold an event to share lessons and recognition for all the local projects
- Collaborate on a service project to expand community support
YDTRC provides technical assistance to Police and Youth Program grantees. The Office of Policy and Management offers applicants the opportunity to attend a technical assistance session where they receive additional information about the grant. At this session, YDTRC provides a youth engagement workshop and shares some of the ways that prior grantees have used the program funds to improve interactions between police and youth. YDTRC also arranges a cross-site program showcase that allows representatives from each of the funded projects to share their program accomplishments, learn about other projects working on the same topic across the state, and recognize participants for their participation in this effort. YDTRC also conducts site visits and offers technical assistance to grantees that need additional support in the implementation of their projects.