Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids
Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids (Cops & Kids) is an innovative police-community relations model program run by the All Stars Project in partnership with the New York City Police Department. The program uses performance, improvisation and conversation to help inner-city teenagers and police officers develop a positive relationship.
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"Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids workshops give teens and cops the chance to step outside their usual roles and responses and discover new ways of relating.”- Dr. Lenora Fulani, Director, Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids
How it Works.
Cops & Kids uses the power of performance to create a new kind of relationship.
The program is designed to foster positive interactions between the police and inner-city youth. It consists of a series of community workshops that use performance, improvisational games and conversation to help teenagers and police officers to develop and improve their relationship.
Cops & Kids changes the environment in which police and youth interact.
Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids was first created in 2006 by ASP co-founder, Lenora Fulani, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and community activist, in the wake of the shooting of Sean Bell in Queens, New York.
In 2011, the NYPD officially incorporated Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids into the training of its police officers and new recruits. Since the program’s inception, over 8,200 NYPD officers and young people have participated in performance and demonstration workshops throughout New York City.
In 2015, All Stars Project was awarded the 2015 IACP and Cisco Community Policing Award from The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for Cops & Kids, in partnership with the NYPD, for cities worldwide having a population greater than 250,000.
Participants agree that performance helps build trust.
A survey of Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids program participants conducted in 2013 showed 84% of all respondents said that the experience would positively affect how they would interact in the future.
“I have long said that bringing the police and the communities we serve together requires that we see each other for who we are. Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids helps make this happen. When police officers and inner-city youth perform together, each sees the other through new eyes. Barriers fall and trust rises. The NYPD is striving to make this happen through a range of new initiatives, but our collaboration with the All Stars Project remains one of the best partnerships we have for helping cops and kids realize that they have more in common than they think.”
William J. Bratton, Police Commissioner, NYPD
What you can do
To learn more about Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids and how to get involved, contact Senior Program Manager Lisa Linnen at (212) 356-8448 or firstname.lastname@example.org