March 9, 2012 - The Houston Police Department's Teens and Police Service Academy (T.A.P.S.) was nationally lauded on Wednesday (Feb. 29) before the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Chief Bernard Melekian, director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), highlighted the program and praised HPD's efforts to mentor Houston youth who may be at risk.
"The community policing philosophy continues to serve as a foundation for successful law enforcement practices and services. From the T.A.P.S. program in Houston, Texas, where police officers mentor at-risk youth...community policing has longevity and sustainability and has been proven as an effective solution to addressing public safety needs," Chief Melekian told the committee.
In an effort to strengthen community-police relations within Houston's at-risk teen community, HPD, along with the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), Texas Southern University and the Beechnut Academy announced the start of the Teen and Police Service Academy (T.A.P.S.) on January 17.
Funded by a federal grant from the United States Department of Justice-Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), the goal of this innovative program is to increase trust in law enforcement with at-risk teens and provide a two-way better understanding of the challenges law enforcement and teens face every day.
HPD Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. and Assistant Chief Brian Lumpkin talk about the importance of this program and the benefits it provides to at-risk youth at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hDrVicPaWU
T.A.P.S. Academy is being held at the Beechnut Academy at 7055 Beechnut Street. Beechnut Academy is run by the Community Education Partners (CEP) and works in partnership with HISD to help students on the verge of dropping out get back on track towards high school graduation.
For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.