Houston Police Department

Volunteer Initiatives Program
Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC)


History



The Youth Police Advisory Council (YPAC) was created in 1997 by Chief of Police, C. O. Bradford, who recognized that teenagers are often overlooked as a source of insightful input regarding youth and law enforcement issues. The first of its kind in the nation, the primary function is to promote trust and understanding between the Houston Police Department (HPD) and youth. YPAC is now being used as an implementation model by other police agencies.



Fifty-four (54) diverse high school students are selected from area schools each year to serve on the council. These students meet with the Chief of Police, other police officials, adult mentors and parents to discuss current and relative issues of mutual interest to them and the Chief.


Format/Objective



The council meets five times during the current school term. The members poll their peers before the meetings and gather relevant questions and issues to present at the meetings. The information gathered is then disseminated to their peers and schoolmates. The meetings and projects are designed to accomplish the following:



  • Promote serious dialogue with Houston area youth
  • Advise the Chief on current issues of importance concerning the youth
  • Communicate mutual concerns of the police department and youth
  • Unify our youth into a positive force for the good of the community
  • Establish broad-based support among youth for the police department
  • Encourage a crime-free lifestyle by incorporating law enforcement principles
  • Bring awareness to peers on crime related issues


Program Highlights



YPAC is recognized as one of the leading, and most effective youth councils in the city. We proudly acknowledge the following accomplishments:



  • The council is in demand to participate in various events and functions involving youth
  • Over the last few years, several students have received awards and scholarships through their participation in YPAC
  • Presented with the opportunity to sit in a round table discussion with the Chief of Police and participate in open and honest dialogue, has provided the youth with a better understanding of police matters and a more positive attitude toward police officers.


Topics of Discussion



  • Violence Issues – teen dating violence, school violence, date rape, personal safety.
  • Relational Issues - respect, peer pressure, conflict resolution, teen/adult relationships.
  • Youth and Legal Issues - youth and the legal system, long term consequences of arrest record, what to do when in the company of someone who commits a crime, illegal use of drugs and alcohol, gang involvement.


Field Trips/Community Service Projects (subject to change)

  • Texas PEACE Project
  • Caney Creek Ranch
  • Texas Tobacco Teen Summit
  • Teen Dating Violence Awareness Week
  • Green Ribbon Week
  • Teen Court
  • Christmas Social and Gift Giving
  • The Race Against Violence


Qualification/Selection Process



To be considered for YPAC, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Attend a high school within the HPD service area.
  • Download and complete an application.
  • Write an essay explaining the desire to serve on council.
  • Obtain parental approval to serve on the council.
  • Obtain school administration approval to serve on the council.
  • Applications are accepted at the beginning of the school year (August-September).


To become a YPAC member you must:

  • fill out the attached application and hit submit or download, print and complete the application or
  • pick one up at HPD Headquarters, 1200 Travis, 21st floor or call 713 308-3200 and request an application be mailed to you (once completed, mail, fax, or deliver application to the VIP Office)


To learn more about YPAC or to become a mentor, please contact:


Rhonda Collins-Byrd
Office: 713-308-3200
Fax: 713-308-3217
Rhonda.Collins-Byrd@houstonpolice.org