Local Police, At-Risk Minority Youth Meet to Build Better Relations
How do police reduce the number of arrests of African-American and Latino youths, and increase safety for all? From another perspective, how do young African-Americans and Latinos avoid legal run-ins that could become life-long baggage?
About 100 police officers, youths, court officials, juvenile probation and community leaders will discuss these topics and possible strategies as they gather on Friday, June 8, at Duquesne University for Pittsburgh's first such all-day forum.
The forum's curriculum, developed by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the MacArthur Foundation, has been lauded by the state Senate Judiciary Committee and the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Nathan Harper has requested that the curriculum be used to train all new Pittsburgh police recruits. Police and probation officers, public defenders, assistant district attorneys, church and community leaders will be involved, as well as representatives from Duquesne's public safety department and sociology students.
The Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC), a subcommittee of the Pennsylvania Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Committee, a state advisory group, has been instrumental in the initiative, helping to launch similar training in Philadelphia, Lancaster and elsewhere across the state.
"The DMC group is a very, very positive force in the community," said Dr. Charles Hanna, associate professor of sociology and a volunteer who offers tutoring and mentoring to young men on probation in Pittsburgh through the Community Intensive Supervision Probation Program. "These are really good folks who care about the community and activities that are occurring."
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.