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Trust Comes First

Keeping the Faith in Turbulent Cities

Announcements and Upcoming Events
•  Training opportunities
•  Funding opportunities

News and Views
•  Reports, Guidelines, and Briefs
•  News
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by Matthew Malamud

Police Trust

In the 1991 film Boyz n the Hood, which chronicles the lives of three young black men in violent South Los Angeles, Calif., Tre, one of the boys, experiences a home invasion. After his father wards off the intruder, they wait an hour for the police to respond to their 911 call. When the cops finally show, one of them has a testy exchange with Tre's father. At one point, the officer asks him if something is wrong. Tre's father retorts: "Yeah. It's just too bad you don't know what it is."

What he was alluding to was the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD's) long, pervasive history of misconduct and abuse, particularly toward minorities, that eventually led the U.S. Department of Justice in 2000 to compel reforms through a consent decree with the city. Among other things, the decree included community-policing measures to mitigate the distrust and hostility Angelinos had toward police.

Today's L.A. police are nothing like those depicted in the movie. A 2009 Harvard University study of the effects of the consent decree found considerable improvement on a host of measures, including amelioration of the seemingly intractable distrust Angelinos harbored toward police. In that year, 83 percent of the public expressed confidence in the LAPD.



Training Opportunities

Improving School Attendance
"Best Practices in Truancy Prevention and Reduction" will share successful programmatic approaches for improving school attendance. This training, which will be held Sept. 21 in Denver, Colo., is designed to help attendees develop a custom plan for their communities, with practical tips and a look at the latest research on school attendance.


Funding Opportunities

Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Program
The Family and Youth Services Bureau will award four cooperative agreements to implement the Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Program demonstration grant. The program seeks to provide comprehensive case management to victims of severe forms of human trafficking and to build, expand, and sustain organizational and community capacity for providing trauma-informed, culturally relevant services. Applications are due August 19, 2015.


Community-Based Violence Prevention
Keeps the Faith

by Jack Calhoun
OJJDP's 16 Community-Based Violence Prevention (CBVP) sites address some of the most volatile and dangerous situations in some of the most turbulent and mistrusting areas of their respective cities. Violence Interrupters mediate disputes, stand between hostile individuals or groups, and—often from hospital bedsides—attempt to head off retaliation. Case managers try to link victims and victimizers to school, to job opportunities, and to positive adults, and often work to help stabilize families. CBVP leaders form essential partnerships with law enforcement, probation officers, child welfare, schools, and local service organizations. Most street staff are available 24/7. Whether named community norms change, community mobilization, or community health, each CBVP site, in addition to working with people, aims to improve the community context in which youths who are at greatest risk live.

Street work, program administration, and community norms: It is a tall order, and uncertainty abounds. A young person from a rough neighborhood, enrolled in a GED program or as an apprentice, might be shot and killed on the way home, while a tough teen returning from a detention center might celebrate receiving his or her community college degree. CB work plays out in zip codes characterized by high poverty, domestic violence and child abuse, low school or job connection, and low expectations. Loss and hope are constant companions. Yet, CBVP efforts persist, changing lives and even entire neighborhoods.




School Crime and Safety Report
Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2014 presents key findings on national crime and safety culled from data on school violence, victimization, and related deaths. Preliminary data showed 45 school-associated violent deaths over a 1-year period. In 2013, among 12- to 18-year-old students, about 1,420,900 nonfatal victimizations occurred at school, including 454,900 theft victimizations and 966,000 violent victimizations.


Chicago Cops Coach Youth Baseball League
The Englewood Police Youth Baseball League is counteracting violence with sports, uniting young athletes from crime-ridden neighborhoods with local police. Chicago cops coach the coed teams and build trusting relationships with city youth. The league launched in May in partnership with Get In Chicago, a program that works to eliminate juvenile violence.

Other Resources

Trauma's Effects on Children
Repeated exposure to violent trauma can significantly affect psychiatric and neuropsychiatric development, especially among children. "Childhood Trauma and Its Effects: Implications for Police" explains the mental, physical, and emotional difficulties traumatized children face and how police must carefully respond. Officers should be aware of severe childhood trauma in certain communities, recognize its effects on a developing child, and understand its impact on adolescent and adult functioning.

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The National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention Newsletter is prepared under Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Cooperative Agreement No. 2012–MU–FX–K009 with Development Services Group, Inc.

The views, opinions, and content of this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of OJJDP.