‘Bigs in Blue’: Pairing Up Teens With Police Mentors

Students meet with NYPD officers once a month. (Photo by Gregg McQueen via Manhattan Times)

A Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City after-school mentoring program pairs 25 students at P.S. 173 in Washington Heights with local police officers from the 33rd Precinct, reports Gregg McQueen for Manhattan Times.

Through the “Bigs in Blue” program, the students meet with officers once a month to talk about concerns facing young people. The program at P.S. 173 held its first session on Nov. 8.

“They learn to feel more comfortable talking to police officers, and to see them as role models,” remarked María Barahona, Director of Community-based Programs for BBBS of NYC. “They see officers not just as a uniform, but as a person.”

Each session will be facilitated by a social worker to stimulate conversation.

Designed to foster positive relations between police and youth, the Bigs in Blue program was launched in 2017 with 44th Precinct officers and eighth grade students at I.S. 218 in the Bronx.

Go to Manhattan Times to hear from an immigrant student about how his perception of police officers has changed and for more on BBBS’ efforts in helping underprivileged youths.

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