Can Police Officers Be Effective Mentors for At-Risk Youth?

Two years ago, Houston, Texas, Assistant Chief of Police Brian Lumpkin was assigned by Chief of Police Charles McClelland to increase and improve programming for the citizens of Houston. A federal funding opportunity through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office of the U.S. Department of Justice called for increasing the awareness of community policing in the community. The request for proposals called for joint cooperation between members of the community and a heavy emphasis on the evaluation of outcomes and objectives. Everette B. Penn, criminologists from the University of Houston–Clear Lake, and Lumpkin worked together to complete a proposal that gave birth to the Teen And Police Service (TAPS) Academy.