Youth and Family Services
Formed on the premise that our youth are the future of our community, we founded Youth and Family Services. As such, we felt compelled to dedicate a unit to specialize on their needs, mentoring and personal development.
Our unit has partnered with the San Juan Unified School District, community service groups and other leaders in the community to provide enrichment to the minds and practices of today’s youth. Our programs range in experience and intensity depending upon age group and objective. For the younger kids, we seek to provide a secure and positive foundation and a relationship between law enforcement and our community youth in our PAL program.
As the kids mature, they develop their leadership skills, and they are introduced to the meaning of community service. For the high school aged youth, we offer an award-winning Explorer program where the teens can learn the foundation of the law enforcement profession and the leadership skills necessary to be successful in this demanding and rewarding profession. Students in the San Juan Unified School District have the opportunity to participate in a “Public Safety Pathway” program where they’ll gain actual working job skills with an 18 week elective in the classroom followed by an 18-week internship in our department. We also have School Resource Officers who are trained to work in the schools to deal with the challenges our youth face in our society today.
We believe in the development of the entire student, mind, body, and experience. We encourage mental strength, physical fitness, and a diverse range of leadership skills which has a positive effect on their futures.
CHPAL is a nonprofit organization focused on creating positive relationships between the youth in our community and the officers in our police department. CHPAL hosts several events for children and fundraisers throughout the year. These events vary from field trips to local attractions and other fun and educational experiences. In the summer, we host a day-camp which allows youth to have one on one interaction with law enforcement officers. Activities include:
- Police Equipment Demo
The Explorer program is for young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20 years old who have an interest in law enforcement. Requirements are that Explorers must maintain at least a "C" average or better in school throughout High School and College. They must have no arrests or convictions on their background check. Explorers will participate in formal training with CHPD officers twice a month. They also volunteer at police and community events such as DUI checkpoints and CHPAL events. For more information about the , or to fill out an application to become an Explorer, .
The Youth Leadership Team is a non-sports or enforcement specific program to develop leadership skills, enhance self-esteem, and instill a sense of civic pride and responsibility. The participants are involved in the decision making process relative to policies, programs and activities for the PAL program. They are educated in the democratic process of governing the team; and they provide positive peer role models and a continuous forum to voice concerns. The team is an alternative to juvenile crime, gang violence and drug involvement. For more information or to participate in the Youth Leadership Team contact our CHPAL Coordinator, Kendahl Smallwood at (916) 727-4820 or email her at.
The Citrus Heights Police Department has two SROs who oversee a total of 12 schools within the City of Citrus Heights. Each SRO is based at one of two high schools in Citrus Heights: Mesa Verde and San Juan High School. They are responsible for assisting school administrators with maintaining school safety, and they attend after-school programs such as sporting events and dances. SROs lead the Red Ribbon Week campaign, they coordinate special youth-related events and play a large role in the CHPD Explorer and CHPAL program.
The Youth and Family Services Unit has a Detective assigned to the unit to investigate juvenile related crimes and attempt to divert low-level offenders from the juvenile justice system by completing a CHPD diversion program. The Juvenile Detective is responsible for missing person investigations, sexual exploitation of minors, child abuse, and the juvenile diversion program. The detective is also responsible for assisting with the CHPD Explorer and CHPAL program.
The Public Safety Pathway program is hosted at Mesa Verde High School and is part of the Career & Technical Education program within the San Juan Unified School District. It is an introduction to public safety/legal field for students expressing an interest working in the criminal justice field. Students enrolled in this course receive knowledge, skills, and experiences to aid them in a future career in the field of law enforcement. Students attend lectures by the instructors. They research law enforcement related topics, and experience hands-on training via an internship with the Citrus Heights Police and neighboring agencies. The topics include criminal law, civil law, ethics, leadership, court system, community relations, investigative reporting, use of force, arrest & control, firearms, among several others.