Edmonton program builds relationship between police and youth

Edmonton police stepped up efforts  to connect with the city’s youth this week through the Police and Youth Engagement Program.

The program gives youth and police officers an opportunity communicate one-on-one and build relationships.

“PYEP aims to bring police and youth together, remove misconceptions on both sides, build trust, and create a safe space where dialogue can occur,” PYEP program coordinator Timoro Mohamed said.

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    The program also allows youth to become community ambassadors and provide knowledge about the issues that affect ethno-cultural communities to police. REACH Edmonton, which coordinates the program, said this is crucial for youth from war-torn countries such as Iraq and Syria who may have issues connecting with community and law enforcement.

    “It allows youth to foster positive relationships that can overcome previously held negative opinions about police and their role in the community,” Mohamed said.

    “We believe this relationship of trust will carry on in the future and inspire youth to build stronger and safer communities,” Deputy Chief Brian Simpson said. “We want youth to be excited and empowered to make positive changes in their lives, their communities, and their futures.”

    PYEP is an initiative supported by Edmonton police, Edmonton Police Foundation, City of Edmonton, and REACH Edmonton. The program is offered free of charge to youth leaders selected by Tembo Edmonton.

    Forty-three youth participated in this week’s program, which focused on examining and finding solutions for police issues within a cultural sensitive framework.

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