Honoree: Jean Daum
Honored by: La Palma Police Department
Cause Area: Law Enforcement & Public Safety
Throughout the United States and Overseas there have been a number of nationally and globally recognized school-based community policing programs that are designed to educate school children on the dangers and consequences of juvenile behavior. Some of these programs have had some success in achieving this goal, while others have completely missed the mark because of the “one size fits all” type of curriculum delivered. In order for local police departments to be more efficient and effective in the mission of helping educate students on issues that can be counterproductive or even harmful, the information presented to them must be relevant to the specific community environment. The information must address the current issues and provide leadership based problem-solving strategies that students face on a daily basis.
La Palma’s Police Interaction with Youth (PIY) was developed in 2006. This year, specifically at Luther Elementary, marked the 10 year anniversary of the PIY Program. Since 2006, over 2,500 students have graduated from the popular and proven PIY Program. The student-safety education program was designed as a decision-making program to educate sixth graders about those laws that are relevant to their age (bicycle safety, internet predators, stress, truancy and disaster preparedness) and to provide them with the ability and motivation to make proper choices when faced with peer group pressure. PIY also informs sixth grade students about playground and gang violence and provides the students with conflict resolution skills and general safety information. PIY explains how to develop positive self-esteem and how to recognize negative consequences associated with controlled substance and alcohol abuse. The PIY lessons are facilitated by a sworn uniformed Police Officer and promote positive attitudes toward the police and a greater respect for authority in general. All the courses are taught in the schools in a classroom setting.
Assistance of La Palma Police Volunteer in Policing (VIP) Program volunteers have become a vital component in ensuring this worthwhile and meaningful program is delivered in the most professional manner. This year specifically, VIP Member Jean Daum quickly recognized the vital need to assist with the delivery of the PIY Program, due to staff shortages. Without hesitation Jean stepped up to the plate and volunteered over 75 devoted hours of her valuable experience and organizational skills to assist with the PIY Program. Jean produced copies of the student weekly PIY handouts, visited the classrooms and took pictures of the students in PIY, assisted in designing and updating the PIY graduation programs, PIY graduation certificates, essay winner certificates and PIY graduation power point presentations. Jean also provided images and article information to local media sources upon request. Because of VIP Member’s Jean Daum’s involvement and sincere compassion for the students, the PIY Program continues to be a total success. Teachers, parents, students and city leaders have all voiced their support and feel PIY is a valuable, meaningful and practical component of their children’s education. Graduating students reported that PIY has had a significant impact on their lives. Students stated they personally developed a very special positive relationship with Police in general because of the messages that were presented in PIY.
Jean, you have set the bar high from the volunteerism standpoint and gained the attention of the School Districts, City Leaders, and the parents in the community. Schools, law enforcement and community support, such as the VIP Program, are important components of the partnership needed to help the PIY program achieve its goals. The other, most important, component is parent and guardian involvement in the program. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the PIY Program, it gives me great pleasure to bestow this Department Commendation upon VIP Member Jean Daum for dedication, leadership and teamwork in assisting with the PIY school community based policing program and taking the program to a whole new level. This pro-active professionally based program has exceeded its expectations and has become one of the many proven community outreaches that exemplifies the La Palma Police Department.