October 17, 2019

CYCLE Curriculum

Interactive training and engagement program that focuses on transforming police interactions with youth

Our Connecting Youth & Communities with Law Enforcement (CYCLE) training curriculum is a 16 hour interactive training and engagement program that focuses on transforming police interactions with youth. Classes of up to 50 persons at each training location are taught by Police Training Institute staff who are former law enforcement officers and/or established law enforcement trainers.

Prior to the actual training, PTI staff visit the community to participate in meetings with the police department, listening sessions with youth and community groups, ride-alongs with officers, and a youth-law enforcement town hall meeting. The outcome of these engagements allows for our staff to provide site-specific, customized training.

Classroom instruction consists of 12 hours of engaging and interactive discussion with all subject areas suffused throughout the training. Youth will not be present with law enforcement officers during this instruction. The final four hours of the training will be both law enforcement and youth participating in role play scenarios.

Law Enforcement Course Modules

Module I – Contemporary Issues in Law Enforcement. The initial module addresses contemporary issues in law enforcement as related to youth of color, including the history of policing, transitions officers have undergone, converging conditions that may impact youth development, and current de-escalation protocols.

Module II – Listening Skills. This module considers our listening skills and the various components of listening, and why engaged listening is critical to handling calls for service and enhancing officer safety. A self-test to identify current listening skills, with suggestions for improvement, is offered. This module also offers the opportunity to practice a series of specific listening skills.

Module III – Implicit Bias. This module presents information that will enable public safety/ law enforcement personnel to understand the impact that biases have on everyday life, how biases exist in the enforcement of laws, and how these biases can impact people in a negative way. The module presents the differences between explicit and implicit bias, and explores how bias has a significant impact in all aspects of the criminal justice system.

Module IV – Adolescent Brain Development. This module presents information on how adolescent brain development has consequences for all functioning of the adolescent, including: social behaviors, risk taking, response to peers, and interaction with law enforcement. The module provides information on how the brain develops and why youth tend to take more risks and participate in reckless activities.

Module V – De-escalation. This module defines de-escalation, discusses its effectiveness, and compares its use in interactions with juveniles versus adults. The module addresses specific strategies on how to use and implement de-escalation, considering how emotions can play a significant role in the actions of youth. The module explores how to recognize and understand juvenile emotions and how to develop a solid rapport with youth.

Module VI – Trauma-Informed Response. This module addresses the impact of trauma, beginning with theoretical principles that allow understanding of the nature of trauma, the prevalence of trauma, and the consequences to physical and emotional health from exposure to trauma. Participants will learn how to recognize signs of trauma or stress in others and in themselves.

Module VII – Building Rapport. This module presents information on building rapport between law enforcement and the community, and how positive relations are critical in establishing a safe neighborhood. Participants will understand the importance of establishing good relationships with the community, especially with youth, and learn how building rapport can help both the community and the law enforcement agency over the long term.

Module VIII – Scenario Role Play. This module gets key stakeholders involved (law enforcement and youth) in applying the knowledge learned in the classroom instruction: effective communication/listening skills, awareness of implicit bias, de-escalation tactics, building rapport, and empathy regarding the possible impact of traumatic experiences. Scenario role play will also work to foster a good foundation for police-youth engagement and interaction.

Youth Engagement Instruction

While the law enforcement officers are completing their classroom instruction prior to the scenario role plays, the youth are receiving their instruction as well, including age-appropriate modules on self de-escalation, effective interactions, implicit bias, and youth brain development.

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  1. Youth-Police Interactions