“You might approach the student and say, ‘How about that Super Bowl yesterday or how was school today,’ just to break the ice, as opposed to, ‘Hey, you can’t stand here,’ said MacMillan. “In the old days, we would teach our officers to be assertive in the academy, because you have to be. But what we’re saying now is when you’re speaking to a juvenile about a minor offense, you don’t need that assertiveness because it’s going to backfire on you.”
Everett Police Chief Steven A. Mazzie said Strategies for Youth surveyed teenagers in his city about how police could improve relations. “The three things that were mentioned,” he said, “was to wave, smile, and say hello, which doesn’t cost us a lot of money.”
Maria Cramer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.