The Youth Interaction Team is comprised of five officers. One officer is assigned as the Juvenile Detective, one as the Demand Reduction Officer (DRO or D.A.R.E) and three other officers are assigned to the Hazelwood School District as School Resource Officers.
The Department’s DRO/D.A.R.E. Officer teaches the program at four (4) different elementary schools and two private elementary schools. A second officer is certified as an instructor and fills-in, in the event that the primary instructor is unavailable. The D.A.R.E. program is primarily for the 5th grade level. However, an additional program has been initiated in the K through 4th grade levels to introduce some of these issues to the students of that age group in a less formal manner. The instructions reach a student base of over 1900 children in the school system. The two officers spend man hours in classrooms, at D.A.R.E. Summer Camp, and at many other events that include parent’s nights, parent-teacher nights, scout meetings and other public relations activities or student activities related to D.A.R.E. Program strategies are prepared to focus on issues related to strengthen self-esteem, improve interpersonal and communication skills, enhance decision-making and conflict-resolution skills, and provide positive alternatives to drug abuse behavior.
The Hazelwood Police Department has three (3) officers that are assigned as School Resource Officers (SRO). Two are assigned to work at the Hazelwood West High School, and one officer to Hazelwood West Middle School. They also maintain responsibility for the five (5) area elementary schools which are within the City. In addition to handling the daily routine interactions between students, parents and faculty members, the SRO reports and follows up on criminal incidents and status offenses that occur on each of these campuses. SROs also provide police presence/training at special high school events throughout the year, which includes summer school, orientation/registration, sporting events, counseling sessions, etc. The Officers maintain contacts with residents who reside near the schools and community businesses to handle any neighborhood issues involving the schools.
The Officers of the Youth Interaction Team serve on the Juvenile Conference Committee. This committee handles non-violent juvenile referrals to Family Court. The Committee meets monthly to provide an alternate and appropriate means of intervention. The Youth Interaction Team, in conjunction with the Traffic Unit, conducts Alcohol Buy Operations during the year. The operations targeted licensed liquor establishments that sell packaged liquor to determine their compliance with State and local laws governing the sale of alcohol to minors.