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Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) and Illinois State Police (ISP) officials announced yesterday the collaboration between the two agencies in facilitating the annual TeamIllinois Youth Police Camp for northern Illinois.

The 2017 TeamIllinois Youth Police Camp for northern Illinois will take place on the ONU Campus. The week-long residency camp is a highly structured program for 13 to 16 year-old males and females, emphasizing the principles of self-respect and service to others.  The Camp is conducted by local police and sheriff departments, Illinois National Guard and the ISP.

Today’s teens are actively involved in their communities and are extremely capable in helping solve problems.  They are close to the action and have knowledge of what is happening in their communities and schools. The TeamIllinois Youth Police Camp establishes interpersonal relationships with at-risk youth and law enforcement to create a bridge of understanding between the two groups.

“Law enforcement officers face many new challenges in providing effective community policing,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz.  “The greatest of those challenges is building trust between police and the citizens they serve through positive relationships. The TeamIllinois Youth Police Camp affords the opportunity to break down barriers, change perceptions and foster character growth at a pivotal time in teen lives,” he added.

ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz recognized the valuable partnership with Olivet Nazarene University and thanked the University staff for their gracious offer to host the 2017 TeamIllinois Youth Police Camp.  

“We value community partnerships,” said Dr. David Pickering, ONU’s executive vice president for administration and human resources. “This partnership with ISP connects us with young people who are interested in lives of service.  We are grateful to be working together.”

Illinois State Senator Martin A. Sandoval presented a check in support of the Team Illinois Youth Police Camp.  His pledge of support and the support of other donors will no doubt help build on past successes by creating a new opportunity for Chicagoland area youth to experience the unique benefits of this camp.

“Our communities need more officers who reflect them,” said Co-chair of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago). “Investing in future Latino law enforcement officers is a priority of the Latino Caucus, and our pledge to this program is one step toward that.”

The TeamIllinois Youth Police Camp is in its 12th year in the state of Illinois, and was originally hosted at Principia College. The Camp has changed the lives and attitudes of the youth who have attended the program.  The partnership between the ISP and ONU will bring the same commitment to the African American and Latino youth in the northern Illinois region at the ONU campus.