Op Eds and Opinion Pieces by Strategies for Youth

Wanted: Judges Who Can Change the Way Police Treat Youth

Adult to child: “You should know better.”
It’s time courts said something similar to law enforcement agencies. The unusually large number of judicial appointments for openings on the federal bench this year presents a unique opportunity to respond to calls for improved policies and better training for law enforcement in its interactions with youth.

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Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke’s Record Was a Warning Sign

Can the conviction of Chicago cop Jason Van Dyke
finally force policing into the 21st century?

Chicago continues to reel from the shocking circumstances surrounding the shooting death of 17-year old Laquan McDonald four years ago by police veteran Jason Van Dyke. The case sparked massive protests, the ouster of the police chief, the electoral loss of the state’s attorney and the first conviction of a police officer in 50 years for a murder committed while on duty. It almost certainly contributed to Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision not to seek another term.

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Using Tasers on Youth Inspires a Shocking Lack of Action

In August, an 11-year-old African-American girl was tased by a Cincinnati police officer when he tried to apprehend her for shoplifting. The news was greeted, predictably, with dismay by officials there.

After all, most of the public does not like the idea of a small child being subjected to police force, particularly when she was fleeing from, not advancing toward, the police officer.

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An avoidable murder: Better training for policing teenagers

Last week, a Dallas County jury sentenced former police officer Roy Oliver to 15 years in prison for murdering 15-year-old Jordan Edwards. Oliver shot Edwards in the head while he was in a car with several other teenagers. Edwards might not have lost his life if Oliver had been better trained in the unique aspects of policing teens.

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Cops and Kids: Setting Rules That Save Lives

Would anyone bring a 10-year old suffering from the flu to a doctor who had not been required to pass state-level medical boards? Two youth advocates wonder why there aren’t similar state agencies setting standards for police behavior with young people.

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Increasing Public Safety

With all of the disturbing news we hear about so often concerning police/community relations, it was extremely heartening to read the article “Lewiston police chief credits youth outreach for lower crime rate” in the Sun Journal (Oct. 24). I am grateful that Police Chief Brian O’Malley engaged our organization, Strategies for Youth, to provide the training for police officers that helped to bring about these positive changes in partnership with youth-serving community based organizations in Lewiston.

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