The Darien Police Department, in cooperation with the Darien Depot Youth Center, is starting its ninth year of the “Cops and Kids Adventures” program. This program began eight years ago when members of the police department and the Depot decided to apply for a grant through the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management. The grant was for the establishment of a program that united police officers and juveniles in a positive way to build relationships. Darien was awarded the grant, and the program was extremely successful in its first year. Darien applied for, and was awarded, the grant the following two years as well based on the program’s success.
Unfortunately, the limitations on the grant award allowed recipients to only receive the money for three years. Due to the success of the program, and the police department’s commitment to fostering positive relationships with Darien youth, the Department adopted the program as part of its annual budget to ensure its continuance. The program has continued to be successful every year, with application volumes usually resulting in a waiting list. The program runs from September to May, meeting once a month. The group of officers and kids will participate in fun adventures together, as well as come up with a community-service project that they will execute. Examples of past years projects include a supply drive for the Darien Human Services Department and providing free smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors for residents in need. This year’s outreach program will consist of collections for the Darien Human Services pantry.
Registration for the “Cops & Kids Adventures” program has begun. The program is free to participants and will be limited to the first 20 applicants. This program is for sixth to eighth graders living in Darien attending public, private or home-schooled. Due date is Friday, Sept. 7.