Here's something refreshing: On January 12 at 5:30 p.m., a group of Seattle teenagers will be hosting a forum on police-youth relations at the Garfield Teen Life Center in the Central District. The forum will feature a panel discussion on how to bridge the deep-seated wariness between Seattle police and youth, as well as breakout talks groups where audience members—presumably teenagers and their families—will be able to discuss their experiences and concerns with SPD, and pose questions to SPD officials.
From the SPD Blotter:
The idea for the forum was youth-initiated, and youth will act as facilitators for the discussions. “With all of the attention on the problems in our community with youth and police, we thought it was time to start focusing on how to improve the situation for everyone and that Seattle youth needed to be part of that discussion,” said high school Senior Emerson North of Students Against Violence Everywhere. And according to Issac Pearson, a spoken word artist and high school Junior who’s a member of the Seattle Youth Commission, “Youth have a lot to say that can be constructive, if people will listen.”
Hosting a forum that isn't simply reacting to the latest publicized SPD gaffe, but instead seeks to address the disconnect between officers and youth, is a fantastic idea. Once again, the forum will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on January 12, with free food available to all participating youth from 5:00 — 5:30 p.m. It's being co-sponsored by the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, Seattle Police Department, Students Against Violence Everywhere, and the Seattle Youth Commission.