This month Norfolk Police celebrates the 5th anniversary of its nationally recognized, and gold star signature community outreach initiative, Police Leadership Unveils Success (PLUS), and partnership with the Life Enrichment Center (LEC). The partnership serves to improve youth literacy, and positively impact engagement between youth and officers for mutual understanding.
In 2014, under the leadership of then Deputy Chief Larry D. Boone, and four months before President Obama created and signed by executive order, the Task Force on 21st Century Policing, Norfolk officers began to influence the literacy trajectory of students at Norfolk Public Schools, Title-1 elementary schools for one hour weekly, by serving as tutors. To date, over 235 students have experienced improved literacy with the assistance of committed officers, and enjoyed positive engagement for a new narrative, for relations with Norfolk’s youngest and most impressionable citizens.
The Norfolk Police Department continues to serve as the principal law enforcement agency in the region and state, under the leadership of Chief Larry D. Boone, for innovative engagement and outreach opportunities between citizens and officers. Law enforcement agencies from Hampton Roads to Northern Virginia have followed the strategic trailblazing path of the Norfolk Police Department, to narrow the gap for mutual trust with youth through literacy. Norfolk officers enriched the PLUS program 3 years ago, with the addition of the Chess initiative, to assist the development and support critical thinking of elementary youth. Since 2017, the Department has further expanded its reach to improve youth literacy, with the inclusion of Professional Staff personnel (civilians).
This unique partnership is groundbreaking, and serves to benefit the future of Norfolk youth and law enforcement personnel for the next generation. Kevin Turpin, President of the Life Enrichment Center recognizes the significance of this unprecedented partnership with Norfolk Police. “Our union is a revolutionary first! We needed tutors, and Chief Boone wanted an opportunity for officers to support youth with intentional engagement for meaningful outcomes, and advance a positive narrative for relations between youth and law enforcement. Five years later, we continue to measure incredible literacy strides for our students thanks to the officers, and their professional staff colleagues. This has been nothing short of a win-win for all involved. In fact, Chief Boone was instrumental in influencing each of the law enforcement agencies that followed Norfolk Police, to partner with us to tutor youth in their cities.”
This year over 50 Norfolk Police officers and professional staff return to Norfolk elementary schools this week to improve literacy for youth.
For more information, contact Community Relations Manager, Karen Parker-Chesson at (757) 390-1954