Trophy Club, TX (November 2020) – Imagine if you will, on a non-particular Friday night, a fistfight breaks out between two students during the game. The fight is broken up and the kids are told to go home. But the younger brother continues to fight, even getting physically aggressive with an officer, shoving and cursing at him. Police would likely arrest him and bring him to the station. But what if there was an alternate solution?
“The last thing we want to do — especially at this age — is to file charges against kids and possibly negatively affect their young lives well into the future,” Chief Patrick Arata said. “I’m excited to share that the TCPD has received a grant from the US Department of Justice which will allow for a proactive approach and a possible preventable alternative in the future”.
The TCPD, with the full support of the Mayor, Town Council and Town Managers Office, has applied for and received a grant from US Department of Justice for a Drug Interdiction and Juvenile Resource Program Officer (Juvenile Detective) position effective October 01, 2020.
“With the DOJ Grant, we will have the opportunity to hire a Juvenile Detective who will have the ability to offer a kid in this situation an arrangement that could be much more lenient, such as community service and a written apology on lesser crimes.”
The TC Juvenile Detective will be a new breed of cop for TC. Their role, as Chief Arata sees it, is to prevent crimes, not just respond to them afterward. They will try to build a connection with kids and give them life lessons that will keep them out of the criminal justice system.
Policing kids today is different — the “tough on crime” days have evolved and have been replaced by intentional efforts to educate and inform children in making better choices for their futures. Public scrutiny of police is at an all-time high. The TCPD wants to adapt to the many challenges facing the department to band together and support each other in order to better serve the kids in this community.
“We’ve been trying to enhance the safety and wellbeing of the kids in Trophy Club and enhance the existing SRO program,” Police Chief Arata said. “This grant allows us to do that by dedicating an officer to assist in crime prevention and juvenile issues”.
The Juvenile Detective will be a full-time police officer solely dedicated to the program and specifically trained in juvenile laws, crime prevention, and related juvenile and family issues. The Juvenile Detective will provide education in areas relating to the Texas Law and Youth, Law Enforcement Teaching Students (LETS), Peer Pressure Reversal, Self Confidence, and Conflict Management, among other youth-focused programs.
The salary and insurance for the full-time officer will be funded for three years through this grant. As a condition of the grant, the town will have to file quarterly progress reports with the state Department of Justice. And after the three-year period, the town will have to decide whether they want to pay out of the town budget to continue the position.
“We are pleased the Mayor and Town Council supported our Police Department team in pursuing this grant from the DOJ,” said Town Manager Steve Norwood, “we look forward to seeing the positive impact having this position will make on our young people”.
If you have any questions, please contact the Trophy Club Police Department (682) 237-2960.