PRESS RELEASE: Outward Bound Baltimore to host Digital Harbor students and Baltimore Police Department trainees for one-day Police Insight Day Program, Friday, June 6


Baltimore Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound to host Digital Harbor students, Baltimore Police Department trainees for one-day Police Insight Day Program on Friday, June 6

Outward Bound Baltimore will be hosting students from Digital Harbor as well as Trainees from the Baltimore Police Department this Friday, June 6, 2014, at the Outward Bound base (1900 Eagle Drive, Baltimore, MD 21207) to participate cooperatively in a one-day Police Insight Day Program.

A recent article published by The Baltimore Sun (“Baltimore police dispatch officers to head off racial tensions at schools”) outlined tensions between students at Digital Harbor in Baltimore City and described an increase in police presence in the area to peacefully resolve differences.  The Outward Bound Police Insight Day Program is an additional measure aimed at creating peaceful, cooperative, and trusting relationships between students and police officers.

Outward Bound offers a variety of program models designed to promote positive development among Baltimore city students.  One such model is the Police Insight Day Program, which since 2009 has been a collaborative effort between community members and law enforcement designed to decrease youth crime and violence in Baltimore by forging understanding, communication, and bonds of mutual respect between our city’s students and Baltimore police officers.  After three years of success through funding by the Crane Family Foundation, in 2012 a partnership to study this program was formed with Dr. Peter Winch and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, funded by the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  The goal of the study is to provide critical information for the national debate on how to best serve the needs of youth growing up in difficult environments.

The program itself operates similarly to the Insight Program Days offered by Outward Bound Baltimore to Baltimore City schools, with the distinct difference being that rather than just having students participate in this program, students and Police Officer Trainees participate together.  Officers leave their uniforms, badges, weapons and rank at the door.  Students call them by their first names.  The first half of the day is spent building trust with activities designed to open communication and teamwork among the officers and students by carrying out tasks that require critical thinking, communication, and trust.  In the second half of the Police Insight Day Program, groups comprised of both officers and students participate in a high ropes challenge where they must become each other’s support system.

Since the study began in September 2013, data already supports the success of this program in transitioning the participants from adversary to team, breaking down stereotypes, opening lines of communication, fostering empathy, and building trust.  In fact, the study itself has already expanded from just the Police Insight Day Program to cover all of Outward Bound Baltimore’s program models.

For additional information on the Police Insight Day Program, please contact:

Outward Bound Baltimore

Executive Director Ginger Mihalik 410-448-1721 ex2455

Program Director Liz Millhollen, 410-448-1721 ex2454

Program Contact Laura Dvornicky 410-448-1721 ex2458

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Prof. Peter Winch 410-955-9854

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