BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Local youth and law enforcement spent a week getting to know one another better.
The Youth Police Initiative is a nationwide training program that aims to clear-up any negative perceptions between the youth and law enforcement.
The program is a weeklong and was first launched by Binghamton University over the summer.
Students from Johnson City and Binghamton schools worked with officers from the Broome County Sheriff’s Office, BPD, JCPD, and Binghamton University.
The two groups met last week at Binghamton’s West Middle School and held conversations centered around stereotypes and how outlets such as social media reinforce those perceptions.
Cory Brunn is a junior at Binghamton High School and says that the program is very timely.
Junior at Binghamton High School Cory Brunn says, “We’re going to be working with police officers, talking to them, actually getting to know them. Not just like the cops that are on the news and stuff, but actually get to know the police. So, I think it’s really good timing, so this generation doesn’t grow up hating the police.”
Jay Peets is the Community Engagement Officer with the Johnson City Police Department and says that for great change to occur, it needs to happen in our local communities and with the next generation.
He says that throughout the program, both parties will trade places with one another to get a feel for life in the other’s shoes.
Even after graduating from the program on Friday, Peets says that the officers will take the students on outings such as bowling or a meal to continue to build healthy relationships.