In 2011 the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department began exploring ways to merge several youth involvement organizations into a more cohesive, effective strategy of engaging at risk kids in our region. The result is the Youth Engagement Unit. About that same time the Hidden Valley Neighborhood was remaking itself from a bastion of perhaps the worst gang activity in the area to a stronger, safer place to live. We’ll look at how Hidden Valley came back from the brink and how CMPD and others are engaging youth to prevent juvenile criminal activity from occurring in the first place.
Ryan Pitkin - Staff Writer, Creative Loafing
K. Frances Cook - Community Relations Manager, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Dept.
Sgt. Celestine Ratliff - Supervisor, School Resources Office and Juvenile Diversion Program, CMPD