The program described in the link below is one way in which the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is attempting to change their own behavior and that of young people in the city. Through this program, young people, ages 10 to 16, train with police officers for six weeks during the summer. The police hold classes that instruct young people about gangs, violence, law, and drug prevention. By attending these classes, young people learn more about the law, about their communities, about the police, and form a better idea of how to cooperate with the police. At the same time, police officers get to know young people in their community and have the opportunity to introduce them to community programs such as the Police Athletic League.
In addition, the police need to become more involved in their communities to get to know the needs and problems of young people. One way in which they are already doing so is through School Safety Agents (SSA), who, since 1998, have worked in schools as part of the NYPD. Unlike police officers, these agents do not carry guns but attempt to maintain peace in schools. Increasing the responsibilities and assignments of these agents would help the police be more responsive to the needs of young people in New York City.