Baltimore, MD – Governor Larry Hogan announced $250,000 in grant funding for four programs that encourage improved relationships and dialogue between youth and local law enforcement in Baltimore City. Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School’s Police Youth Challenge (PYC) was awarded $131,830 to continue growing the program which has run since 2008.
“We feel that the Police Youth Challenge is some of our most important work. The commitment we received from Governor Hogan will result in increased trust between youth and Officers in our city. Outward Bound is honored to be one of the few organizations selected to make a positive impact in Baltimore,” shares Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School’s executive director, Ginger Mihalik.
Outward Bound’s Police Youth Challenge programs take place each and every Thursday at Outward Bound’s Leakin Park campus. The PYC takes participants through a progression of challenges designed to build trust and form relationships. Roughly, 30 students and 30 Officers attend the program each week.
The recently expanded PYC has served over 1,000 Baltimore City youth and Baltimore Police Officers in 2016. Outward Bound documents the shifts in the perception of the participants and publishes a quarterly report of the findings . As an example, the data demonstrates that 64% of youth experienced a significant change in their feelings of trust toward Officers during the one-day PYC program. Data also showed that 82% of Officers felt they had the skills required to positively interact with youth after the PYC.
“Now more than ever, it is important to provide new and promising opportunities for both children and families, and for the brave police officers who work tirelessly to protect and serve,” said Governor Hogan.
Glenn Fueston, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention added, “These programs are designed to give Baltimore City youth and police officers a chance to listen and be heard, to bond over challenging activities, to have fun together, and to see each other as dignified individuals.”
“We are grateful that Governor Hogan is providing these important opportunities for our officers and the families they serve,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “Programs like these are vital to the safety and security of our state’s flagship city as we move forward.”