The YCC program was piloted in 2014 and has successfully impacted its over 300 participants. Youth selected for the program have been identified as leaders within their communities, but who need their leadership skills adjusted to be used in a positive way. Through weekly sessions over the three-month period, youth build these skills, directly resulting in an increase in self-esteem. The youth are encouraged to be outspoken and participatory within their community. Officers act as mentors and continue to stay in contact with youth after the program, always supporting their growth and development. The youth’s participation with and changed perception of the police, encourages such behavior within the rest of the community as well. Everyone becomes an active voice and participant in public safety.
An important aspect of the program is taking youth outside of their comfort zone. In the photo, youth joined their mentor officers and the Chief of Police for a day of rafting. Everyone spent the day working together, laughing and joking, and having a great time in the park. Being able to water raft impacted youth's confidence in themselves, as well as in their ability to have fun with the officers. These excursion days allow everyone to learn about one another and build long lasting positive police-community relationships.