West-side cops and young people will talk about their fears and stereotypes — while the cameras roll.
The effort is part of a project called Cops & Kids, designed to use group discussions to try to break down barriers between law enforcement and young people.
Based on a national model, the project was first tested in New Haven at Police Athletic League (PAL) camp. You can read about the results here, and watch some of them in the above video.
Local officials thought it made sense to roll out the project in each of the city’s ten policing districts. The Faxon Law Group, a New Haven firm, announced Monday it is donating $25,000 to underwrite the first of the ten ventures, in the Westville/West Hills policing district.
“We are honored to be the first to pilot this program in the Westville district,” a release quoted partner Joel Faxon as saying. “We know tensions between youth and law enforcement are at an all-time high. And, if we’ve learned anything through the work we do in trial law, it’s that nothing can be resolved without dialogue. Dialogue in conflict is what yields healing. So we are so excited to see what kind of positive momentum we can begin with Cops & Kids in New Haven and strongly encourage other businesses to show their support in the remaining districts.”