New Kids Police Academy

Vancouver Police Board (the Board) Director Frank Chong recently attended a special graduation ceremony for one of VPD’s unique youth outreach programs.

The VPD’s NewKids Police Academy, initiated by the VPD’s Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenous Relations Section, funded by the Vancouver Police Foundation (VPF), and in partnership with the Engaged Immigrant Youth Program and the Vancouver School Board’s (VSB) Settlement Workers in Schools, provides a special opportunity for VSB students who are new to BC/Canada.

The goal of this program is to help address misconceptions about police by teaching young newcomer youths that police officers in Vancouver are here to help and to keep them safe. In this program, students participate in applied educational workshops, simulated police training scenarios, and other activities directly related to policing. Many of the participating youth come from countries where they have not had positive engagement with police, government or military enforcement.

The program concentrates on providing education and awareness about policing through peer and police mentorship. It is intended to avert the risk of victimization, negative behaviours and/or criminal involvement – and to help build positive relationships with police, instill civic pride, and offer a sense of belonging in Vancouver. The program unites these young people through fun and engaging experiences that promote social justice and healthy lifestyles, and discusses issues like bullying, healthy relationships and violence prevention.

The NewKids Police Academy is one day per week for 10 weeks and it’s run twice a year. It has approximately 15 youth (aged 15 – 18) as participants. Since its creation in 2015, over 150 newcomer youth have graduated from the program.

Said Board Director Frank Chong, after attending the most recent graduation ceremony: “This is an excellent program and a great example of the community outreach that is done by the VPD.” He added: “It was inspiring – and a real honour – to be present at the graduation ceremony.”

For more information on this important community program, please click here.

Categories: Community Outreach

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