Oct. 27, 2022: The DAO, in partnership with the R&J Task Force, hosted a Student & Law Enforcement Symposium at the Justice Center that brought together students and law enforcement from across Chester County to talk to and learn from each other. The day featured an overview of the criminal justice system, a panel discussion, role-play scenarios, small group discussions, and a pizza lunch with students and LEO breaking bread together.
Students were from Downingtown East, West, and STEM, Collegium Charter, Devon Prep, Church Farm School, Renaissance Academy, PA Leadership Charter School, and Technical College High School.
May 2022: The R&J Task Force sponsored a half-day discussion between law enforcement and Coatesville Area High School students facilitated by Pa. DMC Youth/Law Enforcement Corp. The event brought students and law enforcement together to promote positive relationships and educate youth about the role of law enforcement. The end goal was to reduce the volatile interactions between minority youth and officers, reduce unnecessary youth arrests, and diminish the risk of injuries to officers and youth during encounters.
College Student Engagement
Oct. 20, 2022: The R&J Task Force screened the documentary film Walking While Black: L.O.V.E. Is The Answer at West Chester University. Afterward, former Baltimore Chief of the Community Partnership Division Melvin Russell – who is also in the film – spoke to students about improving relationships between law enforcement and communities of color. Students also got to talk with DA Deb Ryan and DDA of Community Outreach Bonnie Cox-Shaw.
The Task Force is planning more events for both high school and college students in the coming months.