ROCKFORD – The Rockford Police Department on Wednesday, Nov. 7, will celebrate the first graduation of the newly-formed Community Based Violence and Interruption Prevention (VIP) Program.
The VIP Program started in February of 2018 in cooperation with Youth Services Network and the Center for Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority provided a grant to fund the program, which met each Wednesday in the District 2 gym.
Rockford Police officers tutored and mentored 10 at-risk boys between the ages of 11-16 who have experienced trauma due to violence, with the goal of keeping kids away from criminal behavior.
“The past year has been full of great opportunities for these young men. They played sports and other recreational activities with police officers, received help on their homework and learned computer coding and music theory,” said Assistant Deputy Chief Mike Dalke. “I am proud of these young men, and I hope the experiences we provided help them develop into outstanding citizens.”
Wednesday’s graduation ceremony runs from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., in the District 2 gym, 1410 Broadway. R.