Ivan Barron, Writer

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It is no secret that conflict exists between some teens and local police forces.

However, this year’s new program from the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, Teens in Policing, is the department’s effort to encourage students to get involved with law enforcement and view it as a positive aspect of the community.

The six-week program is an off-campus activity that includes spending active time at the police station with a full tour of the jail, actual ride-alongs, and in-depth lessons on how the police force is able to

Photo courtesy of Anton Lok.


“The goal of the program is to help create a better perspective of the police in PV as well as campus security,” said junior Anton Lok, one of the program’s participants.

With an increase in security as problems such as vaping continue to rise on campus, and controversies such as students not being allowed to enter their cars during lunch, it is a common misconception that police who come to the high school or all forms of school security are an attempt to prevent students from having the freedom they feel they deserve.

“The program is open for anyone that simply wants to understand how the police operate in PV, and why they need to have a presence on campus,” Lok said.

While the stereotype of police and school security as people whose only purpose is to stop students from enjoying themselves is a popular one in most high schools, the Teens in Policing program seeks to help students understand the reasons for the activity of local law enforcement.

“We’ve had three classes so far of a total six. The first was an intro and the second was about actual jailing,” said Lok.

“They all take place at the station which is cool.”

A meaningful interaction between teens and the police force may be the solution needed in order to bridge the gap in communication that exists between law enforcement and high school students.  

“Under new leadership, Chief Velez and his officers are really trying to build a good relationship between the students and the police,” Lok said.

The PVEPD has managed to create a program in which this interaction can take place, one which should be modeled by law enforcement across the nation.

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