Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Rolling Playground

This is how the HoCo PD rolls this summer:

To encourage constructive activities for youth during the summer, the police’s youth division has developed the mobile Community Athletic Program, or CAP, which consists of a traveling trailer filled with sports gear, games and video game equipment and staffed by school resource officers and other youth services officers.

Funding for the mobile CAP is provided by an anti-gang grant from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The concept is for police to engage with youth in areas where young people congregate during the summer. The CAP will differ from the unstaffed open space and sports facilities throughout the county. It will provide positive options for youth in their own neighborhoods – and in locations where crime tends to increase in the summer, including near shopping centers, apartment complexes, foot paths and tot lots – under the supervision of police and on a drop-in basis. The CAP’s prevention/intervention model will target middle- and high-school-aged youth who do not yet have transportation but are too old for traditional, supervised summer activities.

The trailer will visit a different neighborhood each day of the week and then return to that neighborhood on the same day in subsequent weeks. It will better utilize school resource officers by deploying them to work with youth throughout the summer. During past summers, SROs had been assigned throughout the agency while school was out.

The CAP will be integrated into the agency’s multi-faceted crime-fighting and anti-gang strategy.

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