The Youth Engagement Training team is responsible for designing and leading IHP’s trainings for security personnel and police officers in Baltimore. The goal of the training is to build empathy and understanding between officers and teens. The training is a synthesis of original research IHP youth conducted to understand the tension between young people and security personnel in Baltimore and successful trainings by other youth organizations, such as New Lens.
The training course the youth have developed has three modules entitled: (1) Communication, (2) Jumping to Conclusions, and (3) Handling Situations with Teens. The training is scenario-based.
IHP has three full trainings — nine sessions total — scheduled for the month of May 2015. IHP has also been approved by the police academy to teach the training to cadets and on-duty officers during in-service days.
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Police officers who have participated in the training say:
“It’s unique to sit down and actually talk to young people.”
“I feel like I’ve been to church. I feel refreshed.”
“Throughout my twenty plus years on the force, this is the first time I’ve gotten to sit down and actually talk to young adults about how they feel.”