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Office of Police Complaints Educates Students on Police Encounters

Friday, April 30, 2010

(Washington, DC) The Office of Police Complaints (OPC), the District’s police accountability agency, recently conducted its student interactive training program for undergraduate students enrolled in Constitutional Law I and II courses at Howard University. 

The OPC program is a main component of the agency’s community-based outreach initiative.  Begun in 2002, the sessions promote positive interactions between police officers and youth through role-playing and peer education.

As a part of the program, OPC provides students with scenarios that focus on the proper response when stopped, searched, or arrested by the police.  Historically, OPC has conducted training at various middle and high schools throughout Washington, D.C.  OPC’s visit to Howard University marked the first time that the agency presented its workshop training program to college students. 

Last month, Flex Your Rights, an educational nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public through visual media about how to apply their constitutional rights during encounters with law enforcement, released a video, entitled “10 Rules for Dealing with Police.”  The video highlights some of the basic rights that people should be aware of when finding themselves in a situation with police.  OPC plans to incorporate the video into some of its future training sessions for high school and college students, as well as other members of the public.

“We recognized early on that educating students about their rights needed to be a main focus of our community outreach agenda,” said Philip K. Eure, executive director of OPC.  “Creating the student interactive program is an important part of our commitment to District residents to address police misconduct in the city.”

If you or your organization are interested in having OPC conduct an interactive training session with your students, please contact OPC’s public affairs specialist, Nykisha Cleveland, at (202) 727-3838.  For more information about Flex Your Rights, visit their website at www.flexyourrights.org.