This program was designed with the Tow Youth Justice Institute, Center for Advanced Policing at the University of New Haven, and the Connecticut Institute for Youth and Police Relations. Officers McNally and St. Pierre attended trainings led by University of New Haven’s Doctor Danielle Cooper and Doctor Lorenzo Boyd. At these trainings, officers from the Greater Hartford County were taught about youth development, the effect of early trauma on youth and their families, leadership skills with youth, and were then assigned the task of creating a program which embodies what they learned during the eight month formal training.
In response to this assignment, Officers St. Pierre and McNally created the Strengthening Teen Engagement with Police (STEP) Program.
STEP is a multiple week discussion and demonstration based program designed to reduce negative police interaction and promote positive future contacts. Each week’s conversations will be related to different facets of policing with a K9 demonstration, car stop scenarios, and Driving Under the Influence activity, as well as discussions based on these topics and current events.
The goal of this program is to build trust between youth and police by creating genuine relationships as a means to promote positive future interactions. Youth will learn about modern policing and officers will learn youth perspectives. Both groups will be encouraged to share their experiences and opinions so we may grow as people together and form interpersonal relationships lasting beyond the program.
This program specifically focuses on high school aged young adults in Bristol. Participants will be selected from Bristol Eastern High School, Bristol Central High School, St. Paul Catholic High School, and Bristol Preparatory Academy.
Applications for the Spring 2023 Session are now open apply below.
Sessions will be held eight consecutive Tuesday nights, starting April 18 and running through May 30. This program will be hosted twice a year with a new set of participants each session.