The Canton Police Department, in partnership with the Cherokee County School District, will soon begin an Officer-involved Mentorship Program at both Teasley Middle School and Ace Academy in the City of Canton. This new initiative is geared toward giving youth that are facing challenges in their personal, social and academic lives the opportunity to build positive mentoring relationships with Officers that serve in their communities.
The purpose and goal of this program is for Officers (with parental consent) to be able to build trust and positive relationships with struggling students. Additionally, the focus of this effort is to increase the student’s self-esteem and confidence, lower rates of individual delinquency, decrease intent to use alcohol or drugs, acquire an attitude that is less accepting of violence, reduce acceptance of others substance abuse, increase attachment to friends or mentors that will be a positive influence on the individual and increase the student’s ability to plan for the future.
Officers plan to begin the program next month and will continue to meet with identified students one (1) day per month until the end of the school year.
Chief Mark J. Mitchell stated, “We are extremely excited to enter into this outreach partnership with the Cherokee County School District. Officer Tiffanie Smithwick brought the excellent idea for this program to my attention and I encouraged her to coordinate how the program was to be integrated into the School system. Just like our “Read with a Cop” partnership, we believe it is vitally important for our Officers to connect, engage and build trusting relationships with the diverse group of students in our schools and community. Our organization feels this is a critical part of our Community Policing philosophy and will allow this agency the opportunity to guide, mentor and coach struggling students in a positive direction which is imperative, especially during this time in our Nation’s history.”