INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – In the city’s fight against crime, we’ve heard officials say it has to start at the beginning – teaching kids about how to not only stay out of trouble, but trust police officers.
On Tuesday night, kids got to play Juvenile Justice Jeopardy, which teaches them about the law, the consequences of their actions and how to deal with police.
Desmond Allender lead his team during the game. He said he’s making a change and trying to clear his young record.
“I want to be something when I get older. I want to be a better person and go to college and have my high school diploma and stuff like that,” Allender said.
It’s exactly the message IMPD is trying to get across to the city’s young people. A message that East Side Commander James Waters says is long overdue.
“We don’t do a good job of educating kids about Indiana law. They don’t go to school and receive a course in that, so this hopefully will help educate them about what they can expect from the police, when interacting with the police and how to make good decisions when they’re out with their friends,” Walters said.
Police know to undo generations of negative perception is no easy task.
“Normally if I see a police officer, I’m like, I need to walk the other way instead of walking towards them,” said teen, Marjorie Warner.
“I want them today to realize we’re not adversaries, the police are not their adversary. We are resources. And we genuinely want them to do well,” Walters said.
Juvenile Justice Jeopardy is truly a community effort. In fact, it was two Indianapolis businessmen who picked up the $15,000 tab so police can use the game.