In the community: Butler freshman reaches out to change the way children perceive police officers

Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Derrick Rogan saw a problem in his community.  Rogan noticed his neighbors viewed police officers as enemies rather than  people trying to help.  Rather than idly sitting by, Rogan set out to make a change.

A Butler freshman studying criminology, sociology and Spanish, Rogan became involved with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, where he serves as a youth activities coordinator.

Rogan is working to implement a new program designed to change the perspective of children grades four through six going to school in high-homicide-rate areas. The program brings police officers to schools to play sports with the children.

Rogan said he hopes the program will reduce the negative connotation children in such areas associate with police officers.

“What I want for the parents is to see kids interacting with the police in a positive way,” Rogan said.

This is done by organizing games of soccer and chess with police officers and having teachers serving as athletic coaches.

Sergeant Keith Minch, an IMPD officer, said he believes Rogan’s program will be successful for multiple reasons. It gives kids a chance to have a positive role model in their lives, keeps them off the street and offers a different outlook on police officers.

Rogan goes to schools three times a week to talk with students and organize activities.  He is currently looking for volunteers to go join him and help. Rogan says Butler students can benefit from working with students, especially education majors or students interested in case studies. Students who would like to get involved can contact Rogan at drogan@butler.edu.

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