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Child Development Policing Program

Adapted from the Child Development– Community Policing Program developed in New Haven, CT, the CDPP program developed by Ambit Network pairs clinicians with police officers to identify violent crimes in which children are present and to provide short-term crisis intervention.

What are the benefits of participation?

By creating this partnership between mental health clinicians and police officers, the CDPP team is able to increase the awareness and understanding of the various support systems available to families affected by violence. This can be extremely dramatic for underserved and underrepresented communities—such as immigrant and refugee families who do not have the same access to services because of language and cultural barriers. Further, the combined presence of an officer and a clinician increases families’ sense of safety, provides resources for ongoing police contact and teaches children that police officers can provide safety and security. Particularly in higher-crime neighborhoods, the development of trusting relationships between police officers and community members is critical for effective community crime prevention.

Who is CDPP for?

Implementation of CDPP in Minneapolis was a product of collaborations between the Minneapolis Police Department, the University of Minnesota and several social service and mental health agencies throughout Minneapolis, including Centro Cultural Chicano, Tubman Family Alliance & Chrysalis and Washburn Center for Children. During the past five years Ambit Network’s CDPP trained more than 600 police officers through the MPD in-service system, including 150 officers in local precincts and 110 new recruits. Trainings focus on how trauma affects children, how police officers can best approach children during a domestic violence call and how police can utilize the CDPP program. Officers participating in CDPP ride-alongs also receive enhanced training on the cycle of family violence. During weekly clinical debriefs, police officers and clinicians present recent CDPP home visits, including challenges encountered and successful engagements and referrals to services of clients served.

Who provides CDPP?

By pairing a trained police officer and a clinician, the CDPP team addresses two critical areas after an incident of violence: family physical and psychological safety. During the home visits, clinicians provide crisis assessment and treatment, case management, family advocacy, support and psychoeducation for parents of traumatized children; assess children’s emotional status; make recommendations for further evaluations and provide referrals for mental health and social service agencies.

How does CDPP work?

CDPP strives to: