WARREN Teens, cops to meet in school
The grant's purpose is have police officers become familiar with young adults.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- There will be more officers at Harding High School this week but not for security reasons.
Thanks to a $30,000 training grant, the police will be interacting with students. They'll be taking part in such activities as discussing during science class the use of DNA at crime scenes, and participating in improvisation workshops with the drama club, said Capt. Timothy Bowers, who helped secure the grant.
Bowers and Bill Mullane, principal of Harding High School, said the officers will begin going to the school today.
"The grant's purpose is to have police officers become familiar with young adults in our community through the creation of unique opportunities for interaction with students in the high school," Mullane said.
"Given the recent problems within the police department, this grant will help officers to know students from the different areas within our city, regardless of race, gender or location, as individuals, thus reducing stereotyping and increasing communication between the police and youth," the principal added.
Several city residents in the past few months have filed complaints against police officers, alleging excessive force and possible illegal search warrants.
"This will give the officers and the students the opportunity to get to know each other," Mullane said.
Bowers said he is also going to be putting together some information so that officers can make class presentations and tell students about police careers and how to interact with officers at a crime scene.
Several officers will be assigned to the school and will visit for about four hours, Mullane said.
The grant will pay for 120 four-hour visits.
"We also thought it may be good to have officers attend weight training and work side by side with the students," Mullane noted. "The officers can also attend computer-related classes and students can act as their tutors."
A physics teacher suggested officers talk to his class. Students are learning about the Doppler effect, a method that is used in radar speed detection.
"I think this program is going to be great," Mullane said. "We are very excited."