The Houston Police Department just hosted its first graduating class of the Teen And Police Service Academy (T.A.P.S. Academy). This innovative 15-week program brings together at-risk youth with police mentors for the opportunity to address issues that directly impact the youth and the communities in which they live. Topics included conflict resolution, bullying, anger management, sexual and dating violence, and tips to avoiding gang life and substance abuse. The students learned powerful tools that will help them make better decisions in their daily lives and the officers obtained a greater appreciation for some very real issues facing these teenagers in their communities. This is an excellent example of an innovative approach to improving dialogue between youth and law enforcement.
System of Care communities would benefit from taking a deeper look at this program to consider replication possibilities.
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- To learn more about the program visit the Taps Academy website.