Through a three-week officer mentorship program called "Shielding Our Teens," the Tampa Police Department has helped 95 Tampa students receive job offers from local businesses for the summer.
Furthering the department's focus on community-oriented policing, several Tampa Police officers taught courses at Chamberlain, Hillsborough, and Jefferson High Schools from April 5-25, 2023, providing students, ages 14 to 19, with hands-on lessons about resume writing, ironing a suit, tying a tie, and interview skills, including eye contact and firm handshakes. The students were able to build upon these lessons through mock interviews with officers.
Through community partnerships, each participating student was provided with a free business suit, fitted by a Macy's personal stylist and funded by CSX.
Staff members from both the State Attorney's Office and the Hillsborough County School District assisted in preparing students for real, on-site job interviews conducted on Tuesday, April 25, at Hillsborough High School. The 95 students who successfully completed the Shielding Our Teens program were offered jobs at one of the following locations:
- Blaze Pizza
- City of Tampa Parks & Recreation
- Dick's Sporting Goods
- Taco Bell
- Tampa Police Department Communications Bureau (911 Dispatch)
"We know that youth who are employed for the summer are more likely to stay out of trouble, and we are happy to see that 95 young people are taking advantage of this excellent opportunity to gain a job and life skills," said Interim Police Chief Lee Bercaw. "We are extremely proud of the hard work both students and officers have put into the Shielding Our Teens program. I look forward to seeing these young people enter our city's workforce in the coming months."
This is the second year the Tampa Police Department has offered the Shielding Our Teens program in Hillsborough County Schools. Funding to further the program and educational scholarships for students is being provided by the United Bikers Jamboree and RISE Tampa, the Tampa Police Foundation.
The City of Tampa offers additional summer youth employment opportunities. To learn more, click here.