Bridging the gap between cops and youth

From left: Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan, youths with the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau, deputy Derek Anklan and communications officer Lori Fields. Photo supplied

From left: Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan, youths with the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau, deputy Derek Anklan and communications officer Lori Fields. Photo supplied

Chisago County Sheriff’s Office partners with Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau in mentoring effort—

Youth with risk factors often need guidance from caring adults to have a chance at future success.

The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office is attempting to offer this kind of support through a partnership with the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau and the Forest Lake-based agency’s “Making Connections” mentoring program.

The sheriff’ office is reaching out to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and youth by instilling positive attitudes, reinforcement of responsible values and good citizenship in hopes of reducing juvenile delinquency. Employees of the sheriff’s office will serve as mentors and positive role models to help youths navigate challenges and build competence in areas that are indicators for success in school and life — work and study skills, social relationships, communications and healthy behaviors, according to a press release provided by the sheriff’s office.

Under this mentorship effort, volunteers from the sheriff’s office are recruited as mentors. LAYSB then matches youth with the mentors who, in turn, connect with the youngsters for a minimum of two times per month. In addition, mentors/mentees can participate in quarterly events to develop a sense of community connectedness. While the initial commitment is for six months, once matched, the mentors and mentees will be encouraged to remain in a relationship through high school graduation.

LAYSB will monitor the progress and work with the mentors and youths’ parents/caregivers to foster support for the mentoring process and facilitate communication about family issues.

The ultimate goal of this program is to provide youths with the necessary values, motivation and sense of self-responsibility to guide them toward productive and positive citizenship.

For those who would like more information about this free program or would like to sign up a youth between the ages of 10-17, visit www.ysblakesarea.org for an application or contact Andria Flaherty, LAYSB’s Youth Enrichment & Mentoring manager, at 651-464-3685 or andria.flaherty@ysblakesarea.org.

People also may visit the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office website at www.co.chisago.mn.us for an application or contact Tracy Armistead at 651-213-6317 or tlarmis@co.chisago.mn.us.

up arrow