Police Youth Alliance: History
Launched in 2015, the Police Youth Alliance is an original initiative of the Families Behind the Badge Children's Foundation to bridge the gap between police officers and children in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
In President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, in which Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey was a part of, they stated “Law enforcement agencies should create opportunities in schools and communities for positive, non-enforcement interactions with police.” The Police Youth Alliance was created by the Families Behind the Badge Children’s Foundation in response to this statement and due to growing tensions between inner-city communities and law enforcement in recent years.
This initiative was designed to create opportunities, through education, for uniformed police officers and students to interact in a positive manner. The goal of this program is to foster positive interactions between kids in disadvantaged neighborhoods and the police patrolling in the area. The expectation is to begin to change the current dynamic and bridge the gap between police officers and the community.
The Families Behind the Badge Children's Foundation is working in partnership with the Philadelphia Police Department, Temple University Police Department and Independence Mission Schools to create programs taught by police officers that have appeal to the students, such as chess, reading, step, drum and carpentry.
The Police Youth Alliance began in 2015 with three pilot programs - two chess and one art/music program. In the Fall of 2016 we expanded to seven schools and extended our classroom curriculum. In 2018 we began a partnership with the Temple University Police Department who began working with the programs at St. Malachy. Currently we are in 13 different schools with 33 programs.