Training for Law Enforcement

Equipping officers with knowledge and skills for effective interactions with youth

Why have training that focuses on youth?

SFY offers trainings for law enforcement officers to understand how youth perceive, process and respond to the world differently than adults. The training then translates this information into practical skills for officers to use when interacting with youth to reduce escalation of low level incidents, and gain greater insight into what may be motivating youth conduct.

In the U.S. today, law enforcement recruits are not trained in the communication skills, the strategies for asserting authority, nor to recognize and avoid escalating that work best with adolescents. And few agencies guide officers with developmentally-appropriate, trauma-informed, equitable policies for interactions with youth.

SFY’s trainings address those gaps »

Interested in offering a training at your agency?

To discuss law enforcement training packages and prices contact Kim Simon at:
or 617.714.3789

Prices vary according to the number officers to be training and the location of the training.

SFY training courses

Policing the Teen Brain™

For: Law enforcement officers and trainers
Length: 2 days
Site: At your location

Policing the Teen Brain is our signature law enforcement training program. It provides insights into adolescent development and normative behaviors during this phase of growth, awareness of the role of trauma in youth perceptions and responses. It also covers strategies to avoid escalation, de-escalate situations, and connect youth to local youth-serving programs.

Policing the Teen Brain™
in School

For: School resource officers
Length: 3 days
Site: At your location

This training adds information specific to the role of school resource officers and school security officers to the core Policing the Teen Brain curriculum. A major emphasis of this training is best practices for working with youth with learning and behavioral disabilities.

In the Presence of Children™

For: Law enforcement officers and trainers
Length: 1 day
Site: At your location

In the Presence of Children training provides officers with support for interacting with youth who are present during the execution of residential search warrants and/or the arrest of parents or caretakers. The focus of the training is to promote best practices for protecting youth and mitigating their exposure to traumatic impacts of law enforcement actions.

Who leads the training?

  • Law Enforcement Trainers
    SFY law enforcement trainers demonstrate impacts of demographic factors, how to promote partnerships with youth-serving community-based organizations to address youth issues, provide a review of key topics of juvenile law for law enforcement, and best practices for effectively asserting authority based on transformative policing approaches using principles of procedural justice.
  • Psychologists
    SFY psychologists who describe features of normative adolescent development, prevalent mental health issues during adolescence, and the impacts of trauma on youths’ interactions with peers and authority figures, translated into practical skills for use with youth.

What do trainings include?

Lectures, interactive discussions, use of films and exercises to apply skills.

  • Key elements of adolescent brain development.
  • Why teens perceive, process, and respond differently than adults.
  • Recognizing and responding to common mental health issues among teens.
  • The role of trauma in youths’ reactions to authority.
  • Proven tactics for the de-escalation of interactions with teens.

Scenario-based examples, interactive discussions, and role-plays involving community youth.

  • Video examples of police/youth interactions demonstrating successful strategies.
  • Small and large group problem-solving discussions that build on the lecture topics.
  • Role-play exercises with local youth to demonstrate course concepts and to provide direct feedback from youth.

Baseline and post-training evaluations of officers’ attitudes and knowledge.

I thought the training was fantastic and I found the review of available community resources very helpful.

Maximize your training budget

Single Training Events

  • SFY offers single training events for Patrol Officer or School Resource Officers at your location.
  • Effective for small agencies.

Train-the-Trainer & Coached Training for Patrol Officers

  • After a 360-scan of policing issues with youth in your jurisdiction, we customize a 4-day train-the-trainer, followed by coached trainings to support future trainings.
  • Most cost effective in the long term.

We make it easy for you

  • We go to you to help maximize attendance. 
  • We customize the training to your jurisdiction so it is relevant. 
  • We provide materials for your officers to increasing information sharing. 
  • We collaborate with your team and your local partners to extend the value long after the training is completed.

What officers say about SFY trainings

Lt. Brian Lowe, trainer from Tippecanoe Sheriff’s Office, Tippecanoe County, IN

Randy Porter, Chief of Police, Granite School District, Salt Lake County, UT

Rod Chatman, Investigator, Wilkinson County Sheriff’s Office, GA

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