Poughkeepsie program aims to set young people on 'more positive course'

Poughkeepsie officials are aiming to help local youth after a streak of violence within the past seven months.

News 12 Staff

Jan 26, 2021, 1:36 PM

Updated 1,271 days ago


Poughkeepsie officials are aiming to help local youth after a streak of violence within the past seven months.
According to officials, three Poughkeepsie City School District students have died recently due to gun violence.
Director of Safety, Security and Transportation James Oakes says it’s important for him to see students succeed, so he plans to do all he can to see it happen.
Oakes joins the city’s police department in implementing the juvenile intervention program. He also proposed a mentor program.
“We really need to have those coaches, those teaches, those administrators step up and take an active role in intervening in students’ lives,” says Oakes. “To set them on a more positive course.”
The school district is only one of the many partnerships the Police department is making, with hopes to make a difference.
Youth worker Satara Brown tells News 12 she’ll be working with programs like Hudson River Housing and assisting youth in obtaining summer jobs.
Brown and Karen Zirbel are a part of a special team assigned to the police department’s intervention initiative. The goal is to have youth workers actively check in on youth and their parents to offer a helping hand when needed.
The 10-week pilot program kicks off on Jan. 28, with several families and children already signing up.
“It’s outside of the box where we’re trying to get them before there’s criminal intervention,” says Poughkeepsie Police Capt. Richard Wilson. “Before there are criminal consequences. If we can get to some other cause of this and address that, it’s going to have a benefit for the entire community.”
Residents can email juvenileintervention@cityofpoughkeepsie.com to join the pilot program while spots remain open.

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