police youth 2Youth from Tilden and Richards high schools on Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood met with the 9th district Chicago police officers to discuss building a more positive youth-police relationship.

The conversation started with pizza, chicken, and playing sports  but quickly led to a more serious discussion about the nature of the job and the new challenges faced by the police force.

Najua, from Richards College Prep, asked “What made you join the police?” to which officer King from CAPS, recalled the story of her nephew getting shot. The other officers too shared stories of their passion for helping people in the community.

Police youth conv“It was nice to have the police and high school students together. Too many students see us as the bad guys,” Sergeant Loughney commented.

“We need more interactions. We would have a better rapport, we would have better relations,” said Officer King.

“They have a hard job,” remarked a youth from Tilden.

Overall it was a great first meeting. Trust and credibility was established between the two groups and both parties committed to working together in the future.