Additional HISD police officers will be joining METRO and Houston police to continue to serve as mentors to students at nine elementary schools this school year as part of the district’s law-enforcement mentorship program. The program, which was launched in 2012, focuses on students at the middle-school level. The year, officers will mentor fifth-graders who are identified as “at-risk” because of an incarcerated parent, involvement in gang activity, or chronic attendance issues.
“Last year’s program was very successful, but we realized the need to start reaching out to kids at an earlier age, before they are tempted to go down the wrong path,” said HISD Police Lt. Guadalupe Jimenez.
Jimenez and more than 20 HISD, HPD, and METRO police officers will be meeting several hours a week with students. The goal is not only to facilitate a better relationship among children and law-enforcement officers but to provide guidance and support. The officers will also teach important values such as trust, honesty, and teamwork.
“It’s extremely important for all law-enforcement agencies to get involved with the community and the people we serve, and I think this mentorship program is a great, innovative way to do that,” said METRO Police Department Chief Victor Rodriguez.