The recently appointed Miami-Dade police director, Juan Perez, recently sat down with Miami Today to discuss improving community relations with the help of Communication Arts Professor Antoine Hardy. In an effort to develop greater relationships with the community, Perez and Hardy connected to introduce the Youth-Police Community Dialogues in 2015. In these dialogues, students and police officers were able to discuss and voice their opinions on topics regarding police training and conduct, youth conduct, race relations and leadership. The success of the pilot program, led a new initiative that starts as early as the police academy training.
The dialogues, scheduled to continue throughout the entire year, are now focus on new recruits to interacting with neighborhood teens in an effort to build a community.
“The officers will have a better understanding of the community they’re going to patrol and the kids will see that we are just human. We are really part of the community and no different that they are,” Perez explains to Miami today.
To read the entire interview, click here.