Photo, l. to r.: Lisa Kenner, Resident Association President, Van Dyke Houses; Devin Balcacer, youth leader; Joshua Brown, youth leader; Ray Kelly, NYPD Commissioner; Dr. Lenora Fulani, Director, Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids; Michael Walsh, NYPD Officer; Joel Mottola, NYPD Officer ; Gabrielle L. Kurlander, All Stars Project President and CEO; Jackie Rowe-Adams, Co-founder, Harlem Mothers SAVE
At the July 31 press conference, Commissioner Kelly and Dr. Fulani, along with police officers and youth who have participated in the program, spoke about the Cops and Kids workshops and their impact. Community leaders, Lisa Kenner and Jackie Rowe-Adams who have observed the program also gave their views on the effectiveness of the program.
Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids was fir
"The NYPD's first priority is keeping New York
City's streets safe, especially for the most vulnerable. We welcome the
opportunity to partner with organizations like the All Stars Project who have
devised innovative, creative ways to bring police and youth closer together.
The program has helped break down barriers between teens and police officers.
The All Stars collaboration is one of the more recent in ongoing NYPD efforts
to engage young people, including the Law Enforcement Explorers program,
our NYPD youth cricket and soccer leagues, the police cadet program for
college-bound teens, and the Juvenile Robbery Intervention Program in public
housing, in which officers work with young adults to steer them away from
Dr. Fulani added, "Operation Conversation:
Cops and Kids workshops give the kids and the cops the chance to step
outside some of their usual roles and responses and discover some new ways of
relating. We use performance, pretending and improvisation to help cops and
kids see each other in more human ways. I commend Commissioner Kelly and the
NYPD for their open-mindedness on these issues, for their willingness to do
what works best to bridge the divisions in our communities, divisions that
weaken both our ability to fight crime and our ability to provide a decent and
quality life to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin or which
neighborhood they live in.
Since the program's inception, Dr. Fulani has conducted workshops with 935 youth and 713 police officers in all five boroughs. Additionally, 129 police recruits were part of an Operation Conversation training in early July.