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SF police participate in ‘Teen Brain’ training

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San Francisco police are attending a “Policing the Teen Brain” train-the-trainer session this week to prepare to train officers on improving their interactions with the city’s youth.

When officers take the training on some future date, a psychologist who specializes in adolescent development will discuss teen mental health issues and educate police about psychological factors, such as trauma, that play into police-youth interactions.

Officers will also learn how to address disproportionate policing among minorities and practice de-escalation tactics to avoid the use of force, police said. Young people will be present at the training to perform skits and engage in conversation with police.

The city’s youth commission and police accountability department lobbied for eight years to implement the program department-wide, police said.

Youth Commission Director Kiely Hosmon said:

“Youth in our city have expressed concerns regarding their interactions with law enforcement officers, and we are hopeful this training will help improve relationships between youth and police.”

The train-the-trainer session begins today at the San Francisco Scottish Rite Masonic Center at 2850 19th Ave. and runs through Friday.

Policing the Teen Brain program was developed by Strategies for Youth.

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