Program pairs cops with kids in hopes to prevent juvenile delinquency

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BROOKLYN -

A nonprofit program is pairing at risk youth with police officers to prevent juvenile delinquency and provide guidance.

NYC Together, a nonprofit organization created by Dana Rachlin, focuses on young high school students who are facing challenges at school or in their communities and who have little or no support system.

The support she says, come from police officers.

"It's really a stepping stone for every police officer to engage with the youth and to engage with the community," a volunteer in the program, Officer Kenneth Meledez, says.

A day in the program begins with officers picking the kids up from school before heading over to the 90th Precinct for a weekly discussion group.

"I'm getting to show kids, ‘oh wow you're just like me’ and I'm thinking, ‘oh wow you're just like me,’" Officer Carlos Posada says.

Over the years, both officers and the youth they helped have done countless activities and service projects together.

The officers even walk down the aisle with program participants when they receive their high school diplomas at the end of the year.

"My victories are every day; I get to see little things and be a part of things that I only wish everyone got to experience," Rachlin says. 

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