NEW YORK, Sept. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) has proudly awarded the New York City Police Department (NYPD), in partnership with the nonprofit All Stars Project, Inc. (ASP), the 2015 IACP and Cisco Community Policing Award for their joint partnership program, Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids.
The prestigious award honors those police departments worldwide that have prevented and decreased crime and terrorism by forging positive partnerships with their communities. The award rewards best practices in community policing by recognizing police organizations that use the power of collaboration and partnerships to make local, national, and global communities safer from crime and terrorism. The NYPD and the ASP/Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids earned the honor for cities worldwide having a population of greater than 250,000.
"No single factor has been more crucial to reducing crime levels than the partnership between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve," said IACP President Richard Beary. "I applaud those recognized with this prestigious award and know that what they have created in their communities will positively impact the law enforcement community worldwide."
"Working with the All Stars Project has strengthened the relationship between NYPD and the youth of this city. We look forward to continuing this partnership and deepening our connection to the communities we serve," said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton.
Operation Conversation: Cops & Kids was conceived in 2006 by All Stars Project co-founder Lenora Fulani, Ph.D., a developmental psychologist and community activist interested in changing the culture of mistrust between young people from inner-city communities and the officers who police those communities.
"Operation Conversation: Cops and Kids workshops give teens and cops the chance to step outside their usual roles and responses and discover new ways of relating," said Dr. Fulani. "We commend the NYPD for their willingness to work together with us to bridge the divisions in our communities - divisions that weaken both our ability to fight crime and our ability to provide a decent and quality life to everyone, regardless of the color of their skin or which neighborhood they live in."
In 2011, the NYPD and the ASP entered into a formal partnership agreement to make the program a part of the training of NYC police officers. The program uses performance, theatre games, improvisation and candid conversation to help teenagers and police officers in NYC's low income neighborhoods build respect for each other and improve their relationship. 114 workshops have been conducted in the community involving 1,167 cops and 1,427 kids; additionally 3,544 Police Academy graduates and 1,702 community members have attended demonstration workshops.
"The All Stars Project is deeply honored to have been recognized for our work in partnership with the NYPD to create new and profound relationships between police officers and the young people in New York's poor communities," said Gabrielle Kurlander, CEO, All Stars Project. "This award underscores our mutual commitment to bridging the divide between cops and kids in order to improve both how they interact with each other, and also our communities."
The NYPD and the All Stars Project will be recognized at the IACP Annual Conference Oct. 24-27, 2015 in Chicago, IL.
About All Stars Project, Inc.
The All Stars Project is a privately funded national nonprofit organization founded in 1981 whose mission is to transform the lives of youth and poor communities using the developmental power of performance, in partnership with caring adults. ASP is supported by some of America's leading companies including MetLife, DIRECTV, Viacom and Investors Bank. Led by President and CEO Gabrielle Kurlander, the ASP involves over 10,000 young people every year in its afterschool programs in six cities across the country. Learn more at www.allstars.org, on Facebook and on Twitter @AllStarsProject.