Your Neighborhood: Detroit Police Mentoring Program
Detroit Police are at Henry Ford High School this morning with two students who've had a history of getting in a bit of trouble. "I used to be like a bad kid growing up," said student, Justin Johnson. "I used to get suspended out of school but I always had good grades but I used to always get suspended because I used to be fighting." Today, these students are not fighting. In fact, they're not in trouble at all but still police are here on a weekly basis. It's all part of the Brotherhood: No Boundaries Mentoring Program. "It helped me out a lot actually. It's motivational. I can say that. Motivational, beneficial," said student, Laurente King. "I get the real...I get the real scoop. They're cool peoples. They actually care." "The purpose of the program is to help kids stay on the right path, achieve a goal and pretty much stay out of trouble and stop them from getting in fights," said Officer Marcus Harris II. Officer Harris has been with the program since it started about a year ago. As an officer for the past three years, he sees the benefit of mentoring and is in school with students two days a week. "I come to work,” said Officer Harris. “We have a lesson plan laid out. The lesson plans give us different topics to talk about with the kids." "We take all of our resources, our experiences, our transparency and give it to our boys," said Detroit Police Sergeant Jelani Jones. "We form a restorative circle. Everyone gives input. Everyone gives insight and we talk about anything from the code of the streets." Sergeant Jones was one of creators of the mentoring program. Since it started it has expanded to over 300 boys at six different schools. And their mentoring doesn't stop when school is over. "They have our cell phones and we are honored to share our time with them," said Sergeant Jones. In fact Officer Harris and Sergeant Jones recently took Laurente King, Justin Johnson and others in the program on an HBCU college tour. It appears the Detroit based non-profit is successful. Justin and Laurente know where they want to go to college and what they want to do with their lives. "I wanna have my own clothing line. I wanna have a barbershop," said Justin. "I wanna own my own recording studio and a food restaurant," said Laurente. "We don't want to lock up any more children," said Sergeant Jones. "We hopefully can make a change and a difference," said Officer Harris. "We're here to help guide these students and be that male figure in their life especially to some of the kids in the inner city in Detroit." "I really appreciate it and I love ya'll!" said Justin.