For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Mary Kusmiss, Sergeant Berkeley Police Department , (510) 981-5780

SECOND YEAR OF PLAY ACADEMY
Grant Support Keeps it Alive

Berkeley, California (Tuesday, September 20, 2011) - (Berkeley, CA.) Tuesday, September 20, 2011- Members of the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD), the University of California Police Department (UCPD) and the Berkeley Boosters/Police Activities League (PAL) are pleased to announce that the PLAY Academy was awarded a second grant in the amount of $20,000 for a second year.

The Police and Life Academy for Youth (PLAY) program got its start in September 2010 with the support of the University of California, Berkeley Chancellor’s Partnership Fund Grant in the amount of $25,000. The fund provides grants to community service programs that enhance the economic, social or cultural well being of City of Berkeley community members.  PLAY is a partnership between the University of California Police Department (UCPD), the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD), the Berkeley Boosters /Police Activities League and the Berkeley Unified School District (BUSD).  PLAY connects law enforcement agencies with teenagers from the school district. The fall session will begin on Wednesday evening, September 21, 2011.

Some of the diversity of topics that will be explored by the 15 City of Berkeley teenagers during the 11 week program are -

 +Concepts of Criminal Justice & Individual Accountability
 +Principles of Weaponless Self-defense & Color Code / Danger Awareness
 +Issues surrounding Teen Drinking & Driving Under The Influence (DUI)
 +Engage in Dialogue with a  BPD and UCPD Career Panel
 +Explore criminal justice in action with guest speakers who are experts
   in their fields.

BPD Chief Michael K. Meehan says, “We are tremendously grateful for this grant without which this valuable program would not be possible. It was very rewarding to be involved in the first year of PLAY and experience the pride that these young people exuded during the graduations. The importance of connecting with youth to contribute to their success should never be underestimated.”

Members of the media are invited to attend the start of the fall session of PLAY. The kick off event will be held in the multi-purpose room of the Ronald T. Tsukamoto Public Safety Building, 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA. on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.                           
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