Before becoming a teacher, LaRhonda Young was a Fort Worth police officer. She will lean on her expertise in both fields to help educate young adults on ways to interact with police officers and navigate police stops.
Young and Fort Worth City Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray have planned a virtual seminar for Aug. 2.
“It’s ‘Serve and Protect: I am Not a Threat.’ It is a virtual web seminar,” Gray explained.
Registration is ongoing until July 31 for the seminar meant for young adults between the ages of 16 and 25.
“What to do and what not to do when you are pulled over by the police,” Kelly said.
“To be able to get home if it escalates to a bad situation,” Young said. “The things they need to know to do and not to do so that they can make it home alive and be safe.”
Panelists will including current and former police officers and Fort Worth Chief Ed Kraus.
There will be two sessions:
- Session 1 - Interacting with Police and Knowing Your Rights (Led by retired Texas Department of Public Saftey Officer Charles Beckworth)
- Session 2 - Levels of Resistance (Led by Fort Worth Police Officer Brandon Morris)
“Knowledge is power,” Gray said. “For us, it is how do you live through this police stop to fight your battle the next day.”
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“I’m getting stories that young people are getting panic attacks when they just simply see the police, I think it is important to let them know, that in general police are your friend,” Young said. “Give them some tools that they can have in their toolbox in case they do encounter one of those few bad police officers.”
Those who attend will also have an opportunity to watch scenarios with police officers to see real-life applications of what they’ve discussed.
“I’m a parent to an 18-year-old son. At first glance, he’s 6-foot 3-inches and 240 pounds and he’s kind of menacing. Second glance you realize he’s got chubby cheeks and big hair and he’s just a big kid,” Gray said. “I want him to come home to me and I need him to know what to do to make it safely through a traffic stop. Like I want him to come home, I want everyone’s son and daughter to make it home to them.”