Teen and Police Services (T.A.P.S)
Tuscaloosa City Schools
Principal, Dr. LaTanya Williams-Collins
Superintendent, Dr. Mike Daria
The Teen and Police Service (TAPS) program at STARS/Success Prep, the alternative school for Tuscaloosa City Schools, was started to promote positive interactions between at-risk youth and law enforcement. The program was started by the police chief and
included twenty-four police mentors for thirty at-risk youth. Weekly meetings included a presentation by the chief or guest speaker, then small groups of five students and five mentors met to discuss the presentation. The groups also participated
in hands-on classroom activities with the police mentors, community projects, and demonstrations. At the end of a session, each group presented findings from the activities to the whole group. Topics discussed during the sessions included reasons
crimes occur, search and seizure, narcotics, minors in possession of drugs/firearms, driver safety, truancy, human trafficking, abuse, conflict management, and gangs. The sessions always ended with police mentors and students eating snacks and getting
to know one another, thus building positive relationships among the two groups. As a result of interaction with the police officers during the eleven-week program, post-survey results showed student attitudes towards officers changed for the better.
TAPS graduation was held at the alternative school where the chief and police mentors honored students and presented them with completion certificates.