Building Trust Between Youth and Law Enforcement

Last month, Bahamian students received a tour of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Headquarters in Nassau. The event was sponsored by the Resistance and Prevention (RAPP) program, which uses a community-centered approach to help police and other officials prevent youth crime. 

Funded by the U.S. State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and implemented by PADF, RAPP includes community programs that allow young people to learn more about the justice system and vice versa. The goal is to build mutual trust between the police, the government and Bahamian youth.

At-risk youth from the Fort Charlotte Urban Renewal Summer Camp participated in the the job shadowing event led by Officer Humphrey Bain. They learned about the Canine, Mobile Fire and Drug Enforcement units and came away with a clearer picture of what police do every day.

Youth violence stems from complex issues, including trouble at home and lack of access to social services, so the prevention involves a tiered approach. “It’s important to address these issues collectively and from an inter-agency perspective,” says Caterina Valero, PADF Senior Programs Director. “It’s also important to change young people’s perception of the police. Many youth think of the police as the enemy, rather than an ally.”