FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – In September of 2018 the Fort St. John RCMP initiated a pilot project for a Youth Liaison Officer for the Detachment.
Constable Chad Neustaeter had been selected for this position for his extensive history in working with youth.
Staff Sergeant Steve Perret chose to implement this proactive position as it is part of the RCMP’s strategic priorities.
“Youth Involvement is of the RCMP’s national strategic priorities that impact RCMP planning and operations within our community. Our goal is to reduce youth involved in crime, both as victims and/or offenders.”
The RCMP say this position will run until June 2019 where it will be re-evaluated at that time to determine its effectiveness and if any modifications will be required.
Constable Neustaeter introduces himself to students as Officer Chad.
Even though he has almost three years’ experience as a police officer, he comes to the position with 16 years of experience in working with youth.
Officer Chad is one of two DARE (Drug Awareness Resistance Education) trained officers at the detachment that is instructing the DARE Program to grade five students.
The goal of the program is to provide students with the knowledge to make safe and responsible choices with the hope of protecting themselves now and in the future.
Officer Chad looks for any opportunity to connect with students while visiting various schools. His interactions vary from schools visits, participating in recess activities with the youth, to presenting classes with proactive information on topics that are relevant to their safety.
Officer Chad says the interactions with the youth in elementary schools is about
Who are the police and what do they do. While
Sexting and managing your online presence, are key topics for middle school students, the Party (Preventing Alcohol-Related Trauma in Youth) Program allows him to connect with students in the Senior Secondary Schools.
“Although the program is still in its early stages, I am starting to see the benefits already. In the fall, I received feedback from a parent who let me know their children couldn’t stop talking about how I had participated in a game of Tag with them. I am extremely flattered that the youth in our community recognize me and feel comfortable just stopping to say hi.”
If anyone has any questions or concerns about this project, please feel free to contact S/Sgt. Steve Perret of the Fort St John RCMP at 250-787-8100.