On August 15, five Chicago Police officers from Englewood’s 7th District joined Children’s Home + Aid’s R.I.S.E. program youth for a roundtable discussion at Children’s Home + Aid’s Marshfield office. The officers and the youth engaged in open dialogue about the community and spoke honestly about relationships between youth and the police, and how to reduce the violence in Englewood.
Inspired by participation in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Police-Youth Engagement Roundtable held in Washington D.C. in April 2016, Children’s Home + Aid’s project, Increasing Peace in Englewood’s Streets, focuses on trainings for youth, including youth in our R.I.S.E. mentoring program, about the juvenile justice system and promotes conflict resolution. This project seeks to build relationships between participating youth and their local police district through open dialogue with law enforcement leaders and community youth, along with a day of fun community engagement activities to help youth and local law enforcement make positive connections. The discussion on August 15 was intended as a “conversation starter,” to begin to improve the quality of interactions between young people and the Chicago Police Department.