Developing strategies to reduce juvenile arrests is one of the Tampa Police Department's key goals. The department partnered with the State Attorney's Office, Public Defender's Office and the Juvenile Assessment Center to create a fast track in the court system for repeat juvenile offenders. This diversion program allows juvenile cases to be resolved quickly. It also provides these youthful offenders with access to social services that will help steer them away from committing additional crimes. While this program has been successful in lowering juvenile arrests, the department is taking additional steps to reduce arrests by reaching more juveniles before they enter the court system. In 2014, the department launched a citywide campaign, titled “Be the Difference,” to increase youth participation in the department’s Resources in Community Hope (RICH) House program, Police Athletic League, Police Explorers program and Teen Academy. District crime prevention teams were also tasked with developing creative concepts that foster positive relationships between officers and young residents.
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