PATERSON, NJ - When the Paterson Police Department’s Community Policing Division launched their Anti-Violence Policing Program last summer they did so, Lieutenant Sharon Easton told TAPinto Paterson, because they wanted to “change the mindsets of students,”

“We don’t want their encounters with us to be negative, we want to add positivity” she continued.

Based on a visit this reporter made to the program in its early days the efforts were already paying off.

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The importance of the openness of the discussion, with a strong focus on interaction with the students, making them feel comfortable in giving their own answers, had a quick impact 12 year old Arturo Magan who said he learned quickly that the law enforcement officers imparting the lessons were just “normal guys and girls.”

“Now that I know them, I can interact with them,” he added.

Another participant, Natacha Bunay, who had just completed a year as an intern for TAPinto Paterson, wrote in a published piece that the officers involved were helping to give students the “tools to succeed” as well as “tools to be able to manage real life confrontations without violence.”

Given the success in the program’s inaugural year, it is being brought back for Paterson students again this summer, police officials say. Running for two weeks at a time, it will be held five times over the summer, with classes Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the South Paterson Library, 930 Main Street.

Breakfast and lunch will be served.

In addition to sessions on anti-bullying, stress management, and public speaking, participating students, 12-17 years old, will also participate in community service projects, hear from guest speakers, and take field trips including to Broadway plays and live sports events.

A bookbag with school supplies and one education electronic device will also be given to each student that successfully completes the project.

There is no cost for the program and parents can click here for an application for their children or call 973-321-1174 for more information.


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