Youth Engagement

Youth Engagement Unit
The goal of the Youth Engagement Unit is to provide a continuum of program opportunities for youth and young adults who are at risk of or involved in delinquent or criminal activity. These opportunities are designed to increase program opportunities for youth and reduce the number of youth referred to the criminal justice system, delinquent or criminal activity by youth, and delinquent or criminal recidivism by youth. These programs include COPS Care, Envision Academy, PAL Athletic Programs, REACH Academy and Booster Sessions, REACH OUT, TEAM, and Youth Diversion Program.

For brochures detailing our Community Services and Youth Engagement Programs, explore our Community Services & Youth Engagement brochure(PDF, 3MB) [pdf].

Youth Engagement Unit Inquiries:
Lt. Casey Xiong

Letter of Interest
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD), Community Services Bureau, is seeking proposals from community organizations for a life skills program that addresses specific areas of concern, such as decision-making, substance abuse, academics, theft awareness, job skills, career development, housing, and mental health for youth and young adults. The Youth Diversion Program provides pre-arrest diversion opportunities for youth who commit first-time misdemeanor offenses. Letters of Interest must be received by February. To apply, fill out this online form from SeamlessDocs.

Our Programs
COPS Care is a 1-hour gang prevention and citizen rights education course designed to teach youth about the negative reality of the gang lifestyle, positive alternatives to gang involvement, and their rights and responsibilities as citizens. COPS Care provides 8th grade students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools with the same message: make positive choices for positive outcomes. Program facilitators include a CMPD Gang Specialist and School Resource Officer.

To learn more about our effort on Gang Education and Prevention, view this brochure(PDF, 1MB). We also have the "Parents' Guide to Gangs(PDF, 8MB)," a guide designed to provide parents with answers to common questions about gangs to enable them to recognize and prevent gang involvement. 

Also, check out this latest video from the National Gang Center about why youth join gangs.

Presentations and Training
The CMPD provides gang and violence resistance presentations for youth in all grades, gang awareness and recognition education for adults, and training for all professionals who work with or have contact with youth who are at risk for delinquency populations.
COPS Care Inquiries:
Sgt. David McCallum

Envision Academy
Envision Academy provides participants with generous scholarship and 160 hours of interaction with officers while increasing their community knowledge, exploring issues which affect the community, and creating a platform from which to envision a better future for themselves and Charlotte. Up to 80 youth, with 5 CMPD mentors, participate in this 8-week summer program. Each week focuses upon a broad theme that is supported by local businesses and non-profit: Envision Orientation; Envision Government, Politics & Justice; Envision the City; Envision the Environment; Envision the Economy; Envision Health and Human Services; Envision Education; Envision the Future.

Use the following links... For more information on the program, view our informational pamphlet [ English version(PDF, 190KB) | Spanish version(PDF, 209KB)] or to apply to the Envision Academy.

Envision Academy Inquiries:
Sgt. Wes Propst

PAL Athletic Programs
PAL (Police Activities League) Athletics provide youth living in underserved communities with opportunities to participate in athletic programs, interact with CMPD officers, and receive coaching from caring adults. Athletic program options include baseball, basketball, boxing, cheerleading, football, golf, soccer, and wrestling. All programs promote leadership, citizenship, and fair play.

PAL Athletic Programs Inquiries:
Sgt. JD Williams
Ofc. Anthony Bogues

REACH Academy and Booster Sessions
REACH (Respect, Engage, Accountability, Character, and Honesty) Enrichment Program (Boys/Girls)

REACH Enrichment program is a gender-specific program that builds positive relationships between participants and officers and promotes personal and social responsibility through leadership opportunities, educational seminars and field trips, and career and vocation development classes. Upon graduation, youth may participate in monthly “booster sessions” designed to nurture the education and relationships developed during interactions. High performing REACH students are invited to attend the (6) week REACH Summer Academy which seeks to expose inner city youth to countless educational and explorational opportunities all within the city they call home.

REACH Academy and Booster Session Inquiries:
Sgt. David McCallum

REACH OUT (Respect, Engage, Accountability, Character, Honesty - Officers Understanding Teens)

The Reach Out Program is a partnership between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, and our supporting agencies. This voluntary program is designed to give participating youthful offenders the resources, skills, and support necessary to become successful adults. Participants are referred to the Reach Out Program by the courts, CMPD, and the District Attorney’s Office.

Successful completion of the program involves:
  • Completion of 50 to 100hrs during group discussion on topics related to skill development, decision making, conflict resolution, financial literacy, and mental health.
  • Restitution payments to victims of crime.
  • Job placement opportunities for participants.
  • Attending virtual and in-person group meetings.

REACH OUT Inquiries:

TEAM (Teen Engagement and Mentorship) pairs CMPD officers, who have been trained as mentors, with teens in communities where they serve. Teens are engaged by officers through voluntary contact at magnet locations for crime.

TEAM Inquiries:

Youth Diversion Program
The Youth Diversion Program provides pre-arrest diversion opportunities for youth who commit first-time misdemeanor offenses. Referred youth participate in 8-hours of interactive life skills workshops designed to address specific areas of concern, such as decision-making, substance abuse, academics, theft. Youth parent/guardians participate in a 2-hour workshop designed to assist them in understanding and redirecting their child’s behavior.

Youth Diversion Program Inquiries:
Adult Diversion Program
The Adult Diversion Program provides pre-arrest diversion opportunities for young adults between the ages of 18-24 who commit first-time lower-level offenses. Referred and accepted young adults will participate in between 30-100 hours of interactive life skills workshops designed to address specific areas of concern, such as decision-making, academics, job skills, career development, housing, and mental health. Consistency of facilitator is required for selected agency..

Adult Diversion Program Inquiries:
Right Moves for Youth
Right Moves for Youth
The mission of RMFY is to provide resources and guidance to help students graduate high school with a plan for their future success. Police officers, staff and community volunteers work with 20-30 students grades 6-12 once per week to help them learn and practice new skills, give and receive peer support, develop positive relationships with adult mentors, and find new meaning in succeeding and graduating high school RMFY clubs are currently operating in 28 middle and high schools. RMFY was co-founded by CMPD officer Dave Scheppegrell.

Right Moves for Youth Inquiries: