The Metropolitan Police Department's Youth Advisory Council engages DC Public School students in activities that focus on three basic objectives:
- Exposure to people and career paths, so the students can learn about the many career choices available
- Access to mentors, role models and internships that can provide a spring board for future career choices
- Opportunity to gain the tools to become successful adults
Through the exposure and access, the opportunities for our students are endless.
Youth Advisory Council Background
The School Security Division Youth Advisory Council began in the fall of 2002. The objective was to create a program that would include the area youth in community policing and the problem solving process. Additionally, the department wanted to develop partnerships with area youth, introducing them to people who work in the District of Columbia and who may have had common experiencies growing up in the District of Columbia.
Youth Advisory Council Participants
Students, 14-18 years of age, are selected through the schools and must obtain a consent agreement signed by a parent or legal guardian. The Youth Advisory Council meets once a month, during school hours. Meetings are held are hosted by sponsors at different locations and lunch is donated by Hotel Washington Association. School Resource Officers manage the students' transportation to the meeting sites.
Youth Advisory Council Activities
During the meetings, students participate in group-related activities, such as holding elections, planning group activities, problem solving, or a combination thereof. Monthly meetings include social and educational events (trips), educational seminars, special guest speakers who interact with the youth to encourage positive change, and basic career planning. Good citizenship is a common topic of discussion among the young people who participate in the Youth Advisory Council. The citizenship theme changes from year to year. Examples of past activities include:
Beat the Street Program
Beat the Street is a citywide program that targets high crime areas to conduct community awareness activities to include information tables, handouts, food, and youth activities.
Police Ride-Alongs and MPD Site Visits
The MPD provides the Youth Advisory Council participants with a comprehensive look at law enforecment by allowing the students to participate in ride alongs throughout the District, as well as site visits to MPD facilities like the Recruiting Branch and the Metropolitan Police Academy.
Youth participated in a series of college tours, including local institutions and those along the eastern shore. Prior to the tour, students participated in a college readiness workshop to learn how to stay on a path to higher education and employment. While traveling to the various colleges, MPD School Resource Officers spoke with the students about college admission requirements, the application process, financial aid, SAT testing, grade point averages, and housing.