CITY OF WEST
PALM BEACH, FL
JUVENILE ADVISORY GROUP, J.A.G.
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The Juvenile Advisory Group, (J.A.G.) is structured as a partnership between juveniles and the police department. Typically Sgt. Bowersock is the group's facilitator and multiple officers including rank attend. The meetings are also attended by representatives of public and private middle schools and high schools inside the city limits. The group meets monthly at the Police Department. The candidates are mostly selected by school Principals and by those juveniles that have come forward and volunteered to be in the group.
2. When was the program created and why?
The Juvenile Advisory Group was created this year by the Chief of Police; Rick Bradshaw. The Chief saw a need to communicate with juveniles in our city through our newly adopted approach of problem orientated policing. A Curfew City Ordinance was instituted this year which restricted the juveniles after hours in the downtown area of the city. The downtown area consists of numerous restaurants and bars. Thus, the night life in the downtown area is not conducive to juveniles. Based on these needed restrictions, Chief Bradshaw decided to give the juveniles a voice which spawned the Juvenile Advisory Group.
The intent of the group was to hear from the juveniles about what they perceived their problems to be; such as violence in schools, drug or gang problems. Further dialogue was placed on the effectiveness of our intervention programs in schools. Based on these dialogs, action was taken and even though the group is in its beginning stages multiple strides have been accomplished.
3. How do you measure the programís effectiveness?
At present we measure the success on participation as seen by the growing number of our J.A.G. youth and their willingness to continue with the program. Also participation in the events that the group has hosted has been outstanding and shows ready signs of growth in the future. J.A.G. has hosted two concerts, these where held at the Cityís amphitheater located in the downtown area. The hours were from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.. Giving ample time for the juveniles to leave the downtown area prior to the 11:00 p.m. curfew. The upcoming concertís theme will be Stay Alive Donít Drink & Drive.
4. How is the program financed?
At this time, financing, if needed, has come from further partnerships with community businesses and assistance with other agencies in the city. A well-thought out partnership among all agencies within the city has proved a key to the success. Parks and Recreation and the Division of Special Services along with Local Schools and the Police have developed a successful beginning in the new much needed partnership.
5. How is the community involved in the programHow has the community responded to the program?
The community along with school administrators and businesses have welcomed this program without hesitation and have offered much needed assistance.
6. What are the major lessons learned from this program?
The key to the program is that each representative brings to the table problems that he or she has discussed with other youths at their schools. The problems are brought to the round table and possible solutions are discussed. As the program grows, juveniles will see that there is a place that their problems can be discussed and possible solutions accompanied with actions can take place.
7. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.