Our Organization

​​​Youth Engagement Unit
​​​​​​​​​​The goal of the Youth Engagement Unit is to provide a continuum of program opportunities for youth and young adults who are at risk of or involved in delinquent or criminal activity. These opportunities are designed to increase program opportunities for youth and reduce the number of youth referred to the criminal justice system, delinquent or criminal activity by youth, and delinquent or criminal recidivism by youth. These programs include COPS Care, Envision Academy, PAL Athletic Programs, REACH Academy and Booster Sessions, REACH OUT, TEAM, and Youth Diversion Program.

For ​brochures detailing our Community Services and Youth Engagement Programs, explore our Community Services & Youth Engagement brochure [pdf].​

Youth Engagement Unit Inquiries:


COPS Care
COPS Care is a 1-hour gang prevention and citizen rights education course designed to teach youth about the negative reality of the gang lifestyle, positive alternatives to gang involvement, and their rights and responsibilities as citizens. COPS Care provides 8th grade students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools with the same message: make positive choices for positive outcomes. Program facilitators include a CMPD Gang Specialist and School Resource Officer.

To learn more about our effort on Gang Education and Prevention, view this brochure. We also have the "Parents' Guide to Gangs," a guide designed to provide parents with answers to common questions about gangs to enable them to recognize and prevent gang involvement. 

Also, check out this latest video from the National Gang Center about why youth join gangs.

Presentations and Training
The CMPD provides gang and violence resistance presentations for youth in all grades, gang awareness and recognition education for adults, and training for all professionals who work with or have contact with youth who are at risk for delinquency populations.
​ COPS Care Inquiries:


Envision Academy
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​Envision Academy provides participants with generous scholarship and 160 hours of interaction with officers while increasing their community knowledge, exploring issues which affect the community, and creating a platform from which to envision a better future for themselves and Charlotte. Up to 30 youth, with 5 CMPD mentors, participate in this 8-week summer program. Each week focuses upon a broad theme that is supported by local businesses and non-profit: Envision Orientation; Envision Government, Politics & Justice; Envision the City; Envision the Environment; Envision the Economy; Envision Health and Human Services; Envision Education; Envision the Future.

Envision Academy Inquiries:
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PAL Athletic Programs​
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PAL (Police Activities League) Athletics provide youth living in underserved communities with opportunities to participate in athletic programs, interact with CMPD officers, and receive coaching from caring adults. Athletic program options include baseball, basketball, boxing, cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, and wrestling. All programs promote leadership, citizenship, and fair play.

PAL Athletic Programs Inquiries:


REACH Academy and Booster Sessions
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REACH (Respect, Engage, Accountability, Character, and Honesty) Academy is a week-long, gender-specific summer program that builds positive relationships between participants and officers and promotes personal and social responsibility through leadership opportunities, educational seminars and field trips, and career and vocation development classes. Upon graduation, youth may participate in monthly “booster sessions” designed to nurture the education and relationships developed in the summer program.

REACH Academy and Booster Session Inquiries:


REACH OUT​
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REACH OUT (Respect, Engage, Accountability, Character, Honesty - Officers Understanding Teens) is a collaborative effort of the CMPD, Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, and Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice. This voluntary program is designed to give participating first-time felony arrest offenders (select charges only) the resources, skills, and support services necessary to become successful adults. This program allows participants the opportunity to complete court ordered community service hours in an educational environment designed to provide direction and support.

REACH OUT Inquiries:


TEAM
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TEAM (Teen Engagement and Mentorship) pairs CMPD officers, who have been trained as mentors, with teens in communities where they serve. Teens are engaged by officers through voluntary contact at magnet locations for crime.

TEAM Inquiries:


Youth Diversion Program
The Youth Diversion Program provides pre-arrest diversion opportunities for youth who commit first-time misdemeanor offenses. Referred youth participate in 8-hours of interactive life skills workshops designed to address specific areas of concern, such as decision-making, substance abuse, academics, theft. Youth parent/guardians participate in a 2-hour workshop designed to assist them in understanding and redirecting their child’s behavior.

Youth Diversion Program Inquiries:



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