The Southbridge Police Department's Cops N Kids Program is a year-round effort to reduce juvenile delinquencies and build stronger relationships with Southbridge's youths. Initiated over 20 years ago, this program has seen proven results. In recent years, juvenile delinquency rates have dropped by over 85%. Cops N Kids has grown into a multifaceted approach to transform the young people of today into the citizens we need for tomorrow.
The program, hosting approximately 150 youths from different walks of life, incorporates academics and athletics with youth agencies and juvenile diversion techniques. For the past five years, we have focused our efforts during the summer months. Statistics show youths, aged 9 to 16 years of age, traditionally see a rise in juvenile delinquencies when they are left unsupervised while their parents are at work. In addition, we have partnered with the Project Bread program, which provides breakfast and lunch for these children at no cost, and the Worcester District Attorney's Office and the Juvenile Probation Office visit the program once a week to provide related classes and mentoring. The program also employs college students, who are themselves alumni of this program, to serve as mentors and role models.
Most importantly we provide a safe and caring environment when these children are most at risk. Our officers are dedicated to the future of Southbridge that is embodied in these children.
Deputy Chief Jose Dingui is the coordinator for this program and can be reached at (508) 764-5420