AG Herring unveils new police, community relations program

The 16th Annual Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum in Hampton, VA. WAVY/Brandi Cummings

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Attorney General Mark Herring on Monday introduced a new program for teens focused on police and community relations.

“Kids don’t know what they don’t know. This is a way to help teach them about the different kinds of encounters, help bring parents, law enforcement and kids together,” Herring said.

Herring released details of the new program at the 16th annual Virginia School and Campus Safety Training Forum at the Hampton Roads Convention Center — where nearly 1,000 school resource officers and administrators are in attendance.

The program is called “Give it, Get it: Trust and Respect between Teens and Law Enforcement.” It’s a new module under the already established Virginia RULE program.

Herring said the training can be taught by a school resource officer, Commonwealth’s Attorney or a church leader.

It includes different types of interactions, role playing and the opportunity for both young people and law enforcement to share their feelings.

“It’s a phenomenal program,” Middlesex County Deputy and School Resource Officer Melinda Hart said. She’ll be using the program.

Hart believes it will bridge the gap between law enforcement and youth.

“It’s going to help build that positive role model relationship. They’re going to be able to talk to us, open up to us,” Hart said.

Hampton school security officer Jeffrey Morgan says he’ll use it too, but says the results may come in the long term.

“He had some really good suggestions as far as how to combat some of the issues that we have and I think it will be pretty successful,” Morgan said.

The program launches on August 19.

Find more information about the program here.

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