Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced today that the Rochester Police Department has formed a new partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester called Bigs in Blue, in which officers will serve as mentors to students in the Rochester City School District (RCSD).
“Bigs in Blue combines the compassion and dedication of police work with the proven expertise of Rochester’s leading mentorship agency to help children in our community,” said Mayor Warren. “This is what community policing is all about. I am grateful to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester for helping us launch this wonderful program, which will provide a lasting benefit to both the children and the officers who participate in it.”
“We are honored to partner with the City of Rochester and the Rochester Police Department in this innovative endeavor to create lasting relationships between youth and law enforcement in our community,” said Tina Christensen, Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester (BBBS).
Officers are screened and trained by BBBS and then matched one-on-one with a child referred to the program. The pairs meet during the school day, in the city school building the child attends. The pairs eat breakfast or lunch together, work on homework, play board games or spend time outside. BBBS provides a list of activities, board games, relationship-builder activities as well as regular monitoring and match support. Bigs in Blue was developed by an affiliate of BBBS in Kansas City in the early 1980s and has expanded to over 20 cities.
Police officers who wish to participate in the program will receive one to two hours of paid time off per week while serving as mentors. So far, three officers have been matched with students and another 12 are in the process.
BBBS is Rochester’s premier youth mentoring agency. The organization has provided safe, life-changing mentoring to children in the region since 1978. As an affiliate of the national organization, BBBS follow a strict model of mentoring developed in 1904 that assures the highest standard of child safety and optimal outcomes for youth.
For more information, contact Officer Jessica Alaimo at 428-7135.