The NYPD are closing out their summer youth program by serving as a bridge between job opportunities outside of the department.
This year 813 young people–including those who are deaf and hard of hearing–played a role working alongside different facets of the department. However, the NYPD say they know law enforcement is not for everyone, so with this in mind the police force looked to expand opportunities by hosting a career day inside the Queens police academy on Aug. 10.
The halls of the police academy located on 130-30 28th Avenue were overflowing with table upon table of career prospects for the 16- to 24-year-olds to wade through. According to the NYPD, the possibility of opening up doors for young people both helps secure financial security for the future while also preventing crime by reducing poverty and keeping youngsters off the streets.
“Public safety is a shared responsibility. I think everyone in this city is worried about crime and talking about crime and public safety. Corporate companies have a lot of resources, businesses, and opportunities for young people and families. If we can connect all of that together, we can put a dent into crime. The main thing is that we have to create opportunities for young people and if the police department can be that conduit, we want to do that,” Director of Youth Services and Community Engagement Alden Foster told amNewYorkMetro.
Over 70 tables were set up to showcase possible future endeavors, youth also enjoyed meeting police dogs at the facility and even posing for photos inside a police helicopter. According to both the NYPD and their business partners the day was a great success, however, they both credit the New York City Police Foundation for helping make the day possible. Executive Director Gregg Roberts shared that this process is about creating a network for those from low-income backgrounds.
“The Police Foundation does NYPD programs not readily funded to the city budget. And one of the biggest things that we do is bring diverse groups together, not just the corporate community, community-based organizations, and right now with the new police department approaching police in a broader holistic way, looking at young people differently, almost getting involved in educational programs, it gives us an opportunity to bring even more diverse groups together,” Roberts explained. “That’s what the corporations are helping us do. They not only are putting jobs and internships out there, but they’re working with us to prepare the young people for success so they have a meaningful career ahead of them because a lot of the young people would not necessarily succeed if we didn’t give them life skills.”
While the day laid out a plethora of prospects, one young person had already made up her mind about what she intends to do for the future. Darlenys Garcia yearns to become a detective and help change the perception of the police department.
“Some of my family members have had, you know, negative interactions with the police. And so, I want to be the person to change that. For many people, whoever I interact with, I would want them to have a positive relationship or interaction with the NYPD,” Garcia said.