APD works to deter arrests of young people

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) – The Albany Police Department is working to keep children out of the justice system. For those who may have already been charged and arrested for a crime, they are working to change their mindset and actions.

Dr. Tamrya D. Brown works in the Albany Police Department’s Family Protection Unit. Seeing the need to help Albany’s youth move from violence to a better path, she established the Youth Leadership and Development Academy.

“If we can get our kids to stop, pause, and think before we act, I think they’ll have better outcomes,” Brown said.

During the program, young people sit with a therapist and enjoy the time to talk.

“It’s pretty much a dumping ground for them to get rid of everything they go through. We try to process thoughts because the way you process behavior, you have to process thoughts first. Try teaching them impulse control. It’s the first thing because they act on how they feel,” Brown said.

Dr. Tamrya D. Brown works in the Albany Police Department’s Family Protection Unit. Seeing the need to help Albany’s youth move from violence to a better path, she established the Youth Leadership and Development Academy.(WALB)

By helping children between the ages of 10 and 19, Brown said they help encourage kids to surround themselves with good people, go to school, and not become a product of their environment.

“We emphasize that it is your responsibility to make a change because you were born into the environment. You don’t have to follow negative trends,” Brown said.

She said not in all cases, but in most cases children make bad decisions because they are in survival mode.

“We see that it comes from a lack of something at home and they will develop associations. A lot of them are parents to their little kids, so they don’t just have to feed me, I have to feed my little siblings, so it’s a lot of pressure on them,” Brown said.

This program started in 2019. Each year, they help about six to 10 children through several sessions.

“If we only save one, we’ve done a lot because you’re not going to get them all,” Brown said.

With the course funded by a state grant, Brown said their biggest limitation was funding.

There are free places in the program. If you think your child could benefit from such a program, call (229) 431-2100.

Copyright 2022 WALB. All rights reserved.

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