The Forest Park Police Department received a grant of $13,498 from Cook County to use in programs to combat youth violence. The money comes from the federal BADGE program but is funneled through the county.

The money will be used in three ways.

One-third of the grant will be used to fund the Police Interactive Prevention Program, which is focused on the detection and investigation of juvenile gang and drug activity. The police department will use the grant money to fund foot and bicycle patrols.

Grant money will be also used to fund the Junior Citizens Police Academy. The Junior Citizens Police Academy is a joint program run by the Forest Park, Oak Park, and River Forest Police Departments. Police officers will teach their young charges classes on criminal law, police procedures, juvenile law, public relations, crime prevention, evidence collection, fingerprinting, stress management, physical fitness, arson investigation, traffic stops, report writing, court procedures, gang awareness, drug prevention and students will conduct a mock crime scene analysis.

And some of the grant money will be used to help fund the Police Explorers program, which is designed to introduce teens to police work. Police Explorers meet with police officers every other week and study police work.

– Bob Skolnik