YORK, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – In 2020 with the death of George Floyd Police Departments across the country have been in the spotlight. Now, for the first time, the City of York’s Police Department is starting a new community program targeting young people between the ages of 15 to 19.
York’s Police Department is starting a new conversation with youth. A conversation York’s School Resource Officer started at the high school and wanted to continue, to build trust in the police and the community.
Sergeant Pierre King with the York Police Department and a School Resource Officer for York Schools says, “I took the job over there so I could try to be an impactful officer to them. So they could relate to me and see what policing is really all about. Not about arresting them all the time, but about advice, about coaching, leading them in the right direction, teaching them right from wrong, teaching them about laws.”
The York Police Department says they have an open door community policy, participating in 6 to 12 community partnerships each year. They say those partnerships are key to what they do.
York Police Captain Brain Trail says, “When the Chief came in about 10 or 11 years ago he really started pushing a lot of community service stuff. So it got us thinking in different ways too of what we can be doing.”
These young adults say they hope to gain a new perspective and make a difference, here at home.
19 y/o Jidaimeyon Durham-Wade says, “So that I can see how they carry themselves, what they think when they wake up in the morning and get ready to do their job. Because I know how I feel every morning when I get up. I know this may happen, that may happen — I want to know how they feel and what they feel like they can do in this situation or that situation to make it go as smoothly as possible.”
19 y/o Jakeem McFadden saying, “I wanna make sure that most of those places I’m not at but this is where I’m at, so I don’t want no conflict or altercation to get out of hand with them within my surroundings.”
“Well I would think that once they learn what they learn here it’s like being at home you know with your parents. When my boys leave ‘hey what I taught to you at home make sure you take that with you wherever you go whether it’s college, military, workforce. You go out there and you teach another person basically what you learned here,’ and I think if we can do that we can all win at the end of the day,” says Sgt. King.
“Conversations with Cops” will hold four sessions, all held on Saturdays: July 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st. The event is free and those interested can register by calling or visiting www.YorkSC.gov/Police.
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is speaking with the program’s leaders about how they’re looking to build trust and respect in the community.