For Immediate Release
October 3, 2016
CONTACT: Najla Haywood
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - The Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) today announced the Arlington Police Department and Arlington Independent School District as winners of the 2016 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award for their Mentoring Arlington Youth (MAY) Program.
The MAY Program launched in July 2015 through a partnership with the Arlington Police Department, the City of Arlington Municipal Court, and the Arlington Independent School District. The 18-month program began as an idea of Lieutenant (Lt.) Tarrick McGuire as an opportunity to serve young African-American and Hispanic male students in the seventh and eighth grades. In collaborating with Ms. Inelda Acosta, Principal in the Arlington Independent School District, Lt. McGuire was able to start the program, and brought together law enforcement, educators, faith-based groups, and community leaders with a cohort of 10 students at Workman Junior High School.
Through interactive workshops on leadership, team building, education and career development, along with community service-learning modules, the MAY Program helps to foster relationships between youth and positive adult role models. Its goal is to enhance confidence by supporting academic achievement, while increasing social and cultural awareness and promoting personal development.
With the support of Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson, the MAY Program continues to gain momentum and the second cohort of students is currently underway, along with a similar program for at-risk middle school-aged girls led by female officers. The MAY Program, started as one person’s idea, has now transformed into a vital community program with lasting impact on Arlington youth.
“It is a great honor to present the 2016 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award to the Arlington Police Department and the Arlington Independent School District,” said COPS Office Director Ronald Davis. “I applaud the specific efforts of Lt. McGuire and Ms. Acosta in creating this program that provides a safe space for law enforcement officers and young men of color to interact in positive non-enforcement activities. Initiatives like the MAY Program are critical first steps in building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is named in memory of Tony Sutin, who served as a founder and deputy director of the COPS Office from its creation in 1994 to 1996. This annual award is bestowed upon a collaborative team of law enforcement and community members whose innovative civic interactions have transformed public safety in their community. The ideal nominee creates community collaborations that are innovative, creative and transformative; displays civic leadership through problem solving and collaborative partnerships; and promotes public safety through dedication to the community policing philosophy.
The COPS Office is the federal component of the Department of Justice responsible for advancing community policing nationwide. Since 1995, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to advance community policing, including grants awarded to more than 13,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to fund the hiring and redeployment of more than 127,000 officers and provide a variety of knowledge resource products including publications, training and technical assistance. For additional information about the COPS Office, please visit www.cops.usdoj.gov.