EPPD offers advise on how youth should behave when approached by officer

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What to do when a law enforcement officer approaches you is not always common knowledge.

That is why the city offers several programs to help inform the youth of the community on what they should do when approached by a police officer.

Those programs include police youth academies, training by the El Paso Fire Department and a partnership with the nonprofit organization Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso.

A video that was released Friday on Facebook and has since gone viral is an example of what the El Paso Police Department hopes to prevent in the future.

The Police Department told CBS4 it plans to re-evaluate its programs in the future to help build a relationship between the department and the youth in the community.

“It’s important for our youth to know that they are there and, if they need to call us or if they need to call the officer, they will be there,” said Cynthia Aguinaga, the safe community coordinator for the Police Department.

The city also offers bimonthly classes at the municipal courthouse for at-risk youth and the general public.

The municipal court has been offering this type of program every other month since 2016.

The program is meant to teach the youth of our community about how to respect the law and what to do in an intense situation.

The classes offer real-life scenarios, mentorship and a Q&A session with an El Paso police officer.

“It’s all about prevention. It’s best to know before what the laws are and what the consequences are before it’s too late,” said juvenile case manager Lory Gonzalez.

The city said that, while it offers several programs to help the youth understand how to respond to a police officer, the ultimate education comes from within the home.

Here is a list of programs offered by the city and the Police Department for youth in the community:

Police Youth Academy:

Newly launched mentoring program through Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso.

El Paso Fire Department Youth Camp

Community presentation including “What to do when you are pulled over for a traffic stop.

For information on classes offered at municipal court.

The next classes will take place on September 11, November 6. For 2019 classes will be offered January 15, March 12, and June 18. All classes are held from 5:30- 7:30 p.m. at 810 E. Overland.

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