Building trust between youth and law enforcement was what more than four hundred teens and law enforcement worked on at a teen summit hosted by Constable Alan Rosen, Harris County Precinct One Constable’s Office
The “Building Bridges” forum created an open dialogue surrounding tenuous relations between police and youth.“It gives us more understanding of what’s going on, and how they look at us and how we look at them, so they know,” Bria Jones, one of the teens who led the dialogue, said. “It’s good for us to understand where the police officers are coming from and for them to understand where we’re coming from,” Jerry, another teen, added.
On April 18th Constable Alan Rosen responded to a number of questions from youth that represented over 100 schools in Harris County. The summit also included representatives from the courts and area probation departments, including Juvenile Probation Department, Harris County Courts District’s Attorney’s Office and Justice of the Peace.
Those in attendance at the event could receive community service hours; however the summit provided an opportunity for at-risk teens and others to ask questions to deputies that have never been answered before.
“This is great for the community because sometimes they don’t feel comfortable going to their parents or mothers and fathers, but when they’re around their peers, and their peers start opening up and talking, it gives them the opportunity to open up and dialogue too,” Kevinn Robinson, attendee, said.
“I got a whole bunch of friends and I want to bring them to the next summit,” one of the teens in attendance, said. “I don’t want to see them getting killed on the streets. I don’t want to see them on the news one day, so I want to bring them here and show them that not all law enforcement is bad and with Constable Rosen allowing us to speak our mind…will begin changing our minds.”
Constable Rosen invited Anthony Graves who was wrongly convicted to speak about Building Bridges that in spite of everything he went through Graves said “ I am here today to tell you that they are not our enemies and I believe this summit will be a start to building those bridges with the community and law enforcement.”
The Summit was held at Waltrip High School and will be a continued program within the Precinct One Constables office.
For more information of their future community programs, please contact Mrs. Erica Davis, Community Outreach Coordinator 713.755.3372
Story & Photo Credit By: Erica Davis, Community Outreach Coordinator, Pct 1