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Getting through to young people (American Police Beat)

Serving 17 years as a school resource officer in New Jersey taught me a couple of tricks on how to get through to young people and help them make the right choices.

And tricks are key. Youths are one of the toughest demographics in law enforcement. They make up the highest number of offenders and can be particularly challenging in police encounters — running, arguing, resisting.

The juvenile brain helps explain this. It is not fully developed until the age of 25. Until then, youths are often impulsive and thrill-seeking, guided more by emotion than reason. They are not thinking about the future or consequences; they are consumed by figuring out the world and finding their independence. This results in plenty of mistakes along the way, and oftentimes the involvement of law enforcement.

Read more in our full article, written by Det. Kim Nelson-Edwards with Dr. Megan Price, in American Police Beat.


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