(Black Press file photo)

Surrey RCMP to partner with probation workers to support at-risk youth

The new ‘Car Yankee 30’ program is set to launch in June

Surrey RCMP has just announced a new program to help youth who have run-ins with the law.

The new initiative, called Car Yankee 30 (Y30), is set to launch in June. It involves youth officers partnering with youth probation workers from the Ministry of Child and Family Development “to ensure youth are complying with court ordered conditions and assist in explaining these conditions to them and their guardians,” according to a release.

Police say Car Y30 will also incorporate referrals to services and agencies and “provide specialized knowledge and resources to front line officers.”

“Surrey RCMP has worked in partnership with youth probation workers throughout the years, but we hope this new initiative will improve our front line response to youth at risk and have a positive impact on youth criminality,” said Inspector Wendy Mehat in a release.

“This is part of our long-term strategy of working with community partners to provide at-risk youth and their families the support they need in order to break the cycle of criminality and be productive members of our community,” added Mehat, who is a Community Support and Safety Officer.

Surrey RCMP announced the new program during BC Youth Week, which runs from May 1 to 7.

This program joins many other Surrey RCMP existing initiatives that aim to build “early rapport” with police and encourage young people to stay on the right path and make positive life choices, according to a release.

Project Hi 5 is an elementary school engagement initiative where officers give “high-fives” and interact with students they come in contact with during their visits to elementary schools. Since September, Youth Unit officers have already given out over 1,000 high fives while making regularly visits to speak one on one with elementary students.

“This project isn’t just about giving a high five and walking away,” says Surrey RCMP Youth Unit Corporal Ivan Lee. “A high five is just one of the small things that we do to break the ice with kids which then leads to further one-on-one interaction and discussion on a number of topics relevant to the students.”

Officers will also be involved in the upcoming Citizen and Youth Academy, which is now accepting youth applications until May 31, and continue to participate in ongoing Code Blue and Mini Blue Programs.

For a full list of youth programs and initiatives, visit surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

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