Over the past decade, police have become a ubiquitous presence in the lives of many youths, particularly those living in disadvantaged communities. They are now routinely deployed in public schools. As social and mental health services have been scaled back, police are frequently the first responders in domestic disputes involving juveniles.
Exposure and training in how to recognize mental health issues, along with best practices for improving positive outcomes for youth and their communities, will ensure a more judicious, effective and cost-efficient use of available resources, as well as increased public safety and improved relations between youths and police.
Strategies for Youth urges police academies to increase the scope, depth and focus of training to equip police with a variety of tools and strategies for encounters with youths.