The Community and Youth Services Unit within the Allentown Police Department specializes in handling investigations involving juvenile offenders, and is tasked with the responsibility of addressing the problems and needs of Juveniles within the community. These goals are accomplished through the development and implementation of programs designed to prevent and control delinquent and criminal behavior by juveniles, as well as the follow-up processing and arrests of juveniles as related to both Felony and Misdemeanor crimes.
The Community and Youth Services division serves as a resource to other units within the police department and works closely with the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office and the Lehigh County Juvenile Probation Department in an attempt to accomplish these goals.Community
APD strives to interact with requests from the
community to participate in as many events as possible. This participation
includes child fingerprinting, reading events, bicycle safety events and school
presentations on a variety of topics.L.I.F.E. Program This youth program initiative challenges today’s middle school students to “Live with Integrity for Future Excellence." The L.I.F.E program was developed with the goal of forming a strong and lasting link of relationships between middle school youth, their families, and the police. Officers serve as mentors to build confidence, decision making, and accountability. Students sign a contract and work toward the achievement of predetermined behavioral objectives for both present and future impact. PAL (Police Athletic League) PAL connects officers to youth in the community through free summer camps, winter basketball leagues, bowling tournaments and a new golf program. The PAL program provides opportunities for elementary and middle school students to engage in positive competition, build confidence in themselves, and create lasting relationships with peers and law enforcement. Chief’s Youth Advisory PanelCreated and maintained by Allentown's Chief of Police, this panel allows high school students direct access to Allentown police officers. The panel is conducted professionally and respectfully while permitting the students a no holds barred approach to questions. Students are permitted to ask officers any questions about any subject matter. The dialogue fosters honesty, respect, and trust. Youth and Law Enforcement Curriculum (YLEC) APD partners with the Allentown School District to host meetings where high school students speak directly in an open and honest manner with the detectives, patrol officers, and the school resource officers that work in their schools. This initiative emphasizes the importance of mutual communication and respect so that all positions on a variety of issues can be explored and validated. Research has shown this is a very rewarding experience for all officers and students involved. Midnight BasketballAPD partners with A.M.E.N (www.3rddayworshipcenter.org) to facilitate this program. The program has basketball and mentoring components. The basketball component emphasizes physical fitness and positive competition. The mentoring program consists of workshops addressing life skills, monitoring participants' grades, and links to career opportunities and apprenticeships. “No workshop, no jump shot” is the program’s catchphrase, which means participants cannot join a basketball game unless they also join in the workshops. Since the program’s inception in 2008, more than 1,100 youth have participated. Cop Meets Block This community event welcomes local youth basketball players to compete against police officers, judges, and other local members in all components of the criminal justice system in an effort to promote positive interaction and develop relationships. Basketball, face painting, music, and food are just a few activities that make up the Cop Meets Block events. All members of the community are welcome to participate or simply mingle. Youth Police AcademyIn 2014, APD developed the Allentown Youth Police Academy that is available to middle school students each year during the summer months. Thanks to partnerships with the Allentown School District and the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute (LCTI), students will have the opportunity to participate in a week long basic Youth Police Academy. As a follow up, APD offers an additional week of training, where students will be invited to the Advanced Youth Police Academy. Both programs provide a snapshot of police work with a particular focus on mentorship, structure, and decision making to educate students in the many facets of the law enforcement profession. Specific NeedsThe Youth Division thrives from a constant and continuing partnership with the youth and families of Allentown. There is no one size fits all solution to the many challenges in today's society. As a result, Youth Division staff repeatedly respond to the calls of the community to speak and mentor in order to help our youth grow into the best they can be. From individual appointments to formal group settings, the list is always growing as officers take pride in the service of the City. Here is a sample of other activities: • Communities in School• United Way• Boys and Girls Club• Cub Scouts of America• Girl Scouts of America• Community Partners 4 Kids• Speaking appointments in various schools• Muhlenberg Elementary Carnival• Roosevelt Elementary Healthy and Active Family Night• Central Elementary block party• And so much more!
Captain Bill Lake
Sergeant Chris McCarty
City of Allentown - 435 Hamilton Street - 610-439-5999