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C.O.P.S. - Changing Our Perspectives

Row 1 (l-r): Chuck Saylors, Chanell Moore, John Eldridge
Row 2 (l-r): Cauiss Holmes, Dana McConnell,  Alecia Watt, Pam Barkett

The headlines are rife with stories of violent encounters between law enforcement and the African American community.  C.O.P.S. quickly saw an opportunity (duty may better describe the team’s feelings) to address this disturbing trend while it was in the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. This group believes one way to curtail the violence is to change the perspectives of law enforcement officers and middle school youth of color by having them engage in meaningful activities together. 

A perspective is an individual’s evaluation or analysis of something.  It takes into account a belief system as well as what is taken in by the senses. The belief system is comprised of:

  • The way we think about ourselves
  • The way we think about others
  • The way we think about our environment

The belief system is formed by:

  • Current situation
  • Values
  • Culture
  • Past Experiences

C.O.P.S. hopes to change the perspectives of our local youth and police- it’s a big idea aimed at a small target, but it’s a step in the right direction. The team hopes to expand to other summer youth programs in the coming years.

Program

Integrate law enforcement presence and constructive experiences into existing summer programs that serve youth with an increased risk of violent encounters with police.

Goals

  • Establish trust and build a positive relationship between youth and law enforcement.
  • Provide opportunities for youth to experience new activities and places.
  • Have fun together in a safe environment.

Participants

  • DLI XIX Group #2
  • Urban League of the Upstate summer camp participants (30-40 middle school youth)
  • Greenville County Sheriff Deputies, Greenville Tech’s Police Department, Municipal police   officers

Date  

Two weeks, Monday – Thursday August 3 – 13, 2015

Budget

$1,000 for T shirts, picnic, activity fees. The Urban League has already organized and secured funding for it’s summer program, including all transportation and camp counselors. The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office will provide officers every day. 

Activities

Monday, August 3, 2015

Trip to Greenville County Law Enforcement Center 

  • What it takes to become a police officer
  • Safe ways to engage a police officer
  • How you can help keep the neighborhood safe

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Visit the Upcountry History Museum to view civil rights exhibit and have lunch.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

We will watch a movie with racial themes and have a guided discussion afterwards. Mike Teachey of Greenville CAN and our DLI classmate, Jennifer Gutierrez, the Director of Diversity & Inclusion at Wofford College will serve as facilitators. This event will be held at Greenville Technical College in the auditorium.  After the discussion we will have lunch and take a tour of the college. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ropes Course and team building

Monday, August 10, 2015

Career Exploration- Tour Michelin plant in Sandy Springs SC

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

College Tour Charlotte, NC

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Career Exploration- Tour Greenville Downtown Airport

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Family Fun Day! cook-out and games at Northside Park and a visit to Otter Creek Waterpark.

  • We will wrap up with a discussion of our goal of a respectful relationship between police and public
  • Parents are encouraged to attend
  • We will provide T-shirts for youth and officers
  • We will have a photographer
  • We will purchase Hot dogs, chips, soda, cookies etc.
  • Use of picnic shelter and admittance to waterpark donated by Greenville County Rec