NEW Westminster Police Department on Thursday announced the creation of a mentorship program for youth, the Law Enforcement Applicant Development (L.E.A.D.) Program.
The L.E.A.D. Program is for youth 16-19 years of age who are considering a career in policing, and are eager to commit to a two-year mentorship program. Police and community partners will mentor, and help participants to build knowledge, skills, abilities, and encourage positive lifestyle choices.
“The difference a caring adult can make in a child’s life is huge. This program promises to build supportive partnerships and trust between youth and police,” stated Acting Chief Constable Dave Jansen, “These kinds of relationships are what strengthen our community.”
The need for such a mentorship program was seen following the popularity of the two-week Student Police Academy, which is held each year for grade 11 and 12 students. This program recognizes the importance of providing support and learning opportunities for young people year round. The program was created by Reserve Constable Jake Nolan and Constable Wendy Bowyer.
“Often students leaving Student Police Academy were disappointed to hear they were too young to volunteer with NWPD, and too young to start the Reserve Constable Program,” stated Bowyer, “The LEAD Program will provide these youth the opportunity to continue to gain perspective, learn about policing, and contribute to the community.”
Youth interested in the program are encouraged to visit the New Westminster Police Department website for more information. Application deadline is October 6, 2019.