Featured in Johns Hopkins Public Health Magazine Fall 2015 Issue
Building Trust in Treetops
Evidence shows police-youth program works in Baltimore
Story by Salma Warshanna-Sparklin • Photography by Chris Myers
Precariously balanced on cables 25 feet above the ground in Leakin Park, a Baltimore kid and a police trainee are terrified—together. Starting at the tips of this Y-shaped ropes course they must coordinate every tentative step to meet in the middle and then edge to the end.
Success hinges on communication.
Creating positive encounters is the gist of this police-youth program at the Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound (OB) School. Established in 2008, it’s the first and only one nationwide. Through focus groups, interviews and surveys, Peter Winch, MD, MPH, and his research team have found that the program dissolves tensions and long-held stereotypes on both sides…