Capitol West Academy (CWA) participates in the "Students Talking it Over With Police" (STOP) program.
STOP, instituted by Police Chief Edward Flynn and created by the Milwaukee Police Community Prosecution Unit in District 5, was created to react to a fundamental problem that our youth do not understand police behavior and have not been taught how to conduct themselves during interactions with police.
This fall, twelve CWA students participated in a seven week program that allowed them to build their trust with two local police officers and establish a relationship with them.Students were given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss rumors they heard about the police. Officers Lisa Saffold and Katrina Williams took the students' questions seriously and made every effort to address all of their questions and concerns throughout the program.
Sessions with the students focused on how police districts are identified, the difference between property crime and violent crimes, exploring city ordinances, learning how descriptions of suspects are generated, identifying their rights as citizens, and developing an understanding ofappropriate police and citizen behavior.The final sessions were comprised of students applying what they learned to situations where they had to role play.
Student perceptions of police at the beginning of the program were quite negative.By the end of the program, when asked what they learned, many students responded that they learned “that police are not bad; police officers are good people and they try to help us.”One of the students even said “I learned I want to be a police officer.”This of course made Sgt. Williams of the Milwaukee Police Department smile!
STOP was created in collaboration with the Milwaukee Public Schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Alverno College, and the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office.
For more information, please visit the following web-sites.
Capitol West Academy
Research in Brief: The Milwaukee Police Department Presents Students Talking It Over with Police Program
Milwaukee P.D.’s STOP Program Is a Good Start