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Berkeley, California (Tuesday, March 22, 2011) -  

PLAY Graduates 2011

BPD Sgt. Jennifer Louis (top left) & the ten PLAY Participants

The second session of the Police and Life Academy For Youth (PLAY) will hold a graduation for the participants of the program on Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.
The group of City of Berkeley teenagers began their academy experience in late January 2011. These young people explore a variety of subjects during the 11 week program. PLAY instructors, facilitators and interns cover topics such as an introduction to criminal justice and policing, conflict resolution, emergency preparedness, health, fitness and career opportunities. The first session of this unique program was held from September to November 2010.

 In July of 2010, the Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) awarded a $25,000 grant to PLAY. The fund provides grants to community service programs that enhance the economic, social or cultural well being of City of Berkeley community members. PLAY is a partnership between the University of California Police Department (UCPD), the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) and the Berkeley Boosters. PLAY connects law enforcement agencies with the Berkeley Police Activities League (PAL), the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD) as well as the City of Berkeley business community.

UCPD Chief Mitchell J. Celaya III notes, “This program has given UCPD and BPD the opportunity to build positive relationships and establish trust with the youth of our community that has been difficult to reach at times. It has also provided an environment where we can learn from each other and gain a better understanding as we try to provide better service to the community.”

BPD Chief Michael K. Meehan says, “The pride that the young people exuded during the first PLAY graduation celebration was so memorable. This one will be equally terrific. As I have shared previously, connecting with youth to contribute to their success is one of the most important things we can do as a community and as members of our respective police departments.”

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