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ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO IMPROVE INTERACTIONS BETWEEN YOUNG PEOPLE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT
~ "Give It, Get It: Trust and Respect between Teens and Law Enforcement" will promote safer, more positive interactions between Virginia young people and law enforcement officers and help young people understand their rights and responsibilities ~
HAMPTON (August 1, 2016)-Attorney General Mark R. Herring today announced the launch of "Give It, Get It: Trust and Respect between Teens and Law Enforcement," a new program to help ensure safe, mutually respectful interactions between Virginia teens and law enforcement. The program will help educate teens on their rights and responsibilities when interacting with law enforcement, and will help keep situations from unnecessarily escalating in a way that might result in needless charges or even endanger the safety of an officer or young person. "Give It, Get It" is the latest initiative in Attorney General Herring's ongoing efforts to promote 21st century policing, and to strengthen the trust, communication, and relationships between law enforcement and their communities.
"For more than two years I've been having conversations with law enforcement, parents, ministers, community leaders and others about how we can meet our dual goals of making sure that police can keep our communities safe while guaranteeing that everyone is treated fairly and equally," said Attorney General Herring. "One thing I heard is that many parents, especially African-American and Latino parents, worry about their child reacting to police in a moment of panic and either getting in more trouble or even creating a potentially dangerous situation. If we can help our young people understand their rights and responsibilities, and help them understand what an officer is seeing and thinking during an encounter, we can take some of the fear out of these interactions and make them safer, and more likely to end positively. 'Give It, Get It' is going to be a great complement to our ongoing efforts to provide officers with additional training on implicit bias and other 21st century policing skills, and I think it will be a really powerful tool for strengthening the bonds between our law enforcement community and the next generation."
"Give It, Get It: Trust and Respect between Teens and Law Enforcement" is an interactive program that will teach Virginia young people about their rights and responsibilities during different interactions with law enforcement, such as a conversation, detention, or an arrest. Students will learn about ways to improve the likelihood of an encounter being resolved safely and positively, as well as their rights to remain silent, consent to or refuse a search in certain situations, and access an attorney. Role playing and situational discussions will help young people and officers develop a better understanding of what each sees and experiences during an interaction.
The interactive program will be the latest module in Attorney General Herring's Virginia Rules program, a law-based educational program to help young people learn the law and ways to stay safe and make good decisions as they grow up. More than 1,500 law enforcement officers, school resource officers, Commonwealth's Attorneys, and community leaders are certified "Virginia Rules" instructors, and in 2016 more than 45,000 Virginia students participated in the program. The program will be live and available online to Virginia Rules instructors by August 19, in time for use during the new school year.
Attorney General Herring announced the launch of "Give It, Get It" today during remarks to nearly 1,000 school resource officers, administrations, and security personnel at the 16th Annual Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum in Hampton.
The program was developed with input and cooperation from the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE,) which contributed content from the "Interacting with Law Enforcement" section of their "Law and Your Community" program. NOBLE conducts "Law and Your Community" training and presentations to organizations and community groups across the country. They are committed to "Justice by Action" and are available and willing to provide training to all communities.
"As an organization committed to improving relationships between our law enforcement community and the communities we serve, we welcomed the opportunity to partner with the Office of the Attorney General on this critical program," said Morris Roberson, Central Virginia Chapter President of NOBLE.
"Give It, Get It" is the latest component of Attorney General Herring's efforts to promote safe, fair, 21st century policing, and to help strengthen the trust and relationships between law enforcement agencies and their communities. He has held three regional trainings on implicit bias and fair, impartial policing with two additional trainings scheduled in the coming months. His team is also leading a project to develop modern, updated curriculum materials for Virginia's regional law enforcement training academies. Finally, his team has partnered with Virginia State University and the police departments in Danville and Martinsville for a pilot project to improve recruiting of minority officer candidates.
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