New program to reduce tension between teens and Cleveland cops c - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

New program to reduce tension between teens and Cleveland cops coming?

The program started in Boston. (WOIO) The program started in Boston. (WOIO)

We've learned Cleveland City Hall is considering a bold new program to reduce tension between police and young people.

The city is taking a hard look at the strategies for the Youth Program. It aims to change how officers deal with young people and how young people deal with police.

Tensions and distrust between police and young people seems greater than ever nationwide, after the deadly police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Missouri.

The strategies for the Youth Program works with teens on their behavior, and it teaches police more about how teens think.

We heard about the program during a conference in Cleveland back in April. Now the woman behind the program has been brought back this week to meet with city leaders.

"We want officers to realize that the way teens think is often unlikable, but that doesn't always mean it's criminal. We want to reduce the number of arrests for disorderly conduct or contempt of cop interaction," Lisa Thurau told 19 Action News.

Mike Walker heads the Partnership for a Safer Cleveland, and he wants to do this before a crisis here. He says young people can be reached with the program through agencies like the Boys and Girls Club.

"But we have to do this together. Officers are gonna do their jobs. Young people gotta do theirs," said Walker. 

We reached out to the head of the Cleveland Police Union for comment. He said he needs to find out more about this.

The program is based in Boston, but its been carried out in other major cities.

No word yet on when Cleveland might decide to try the program here.

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