Bridging Opportunities is a multi-agency initiative established in 2017. The Kalamazoo County Juvenile Courts and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) assembled a group of agencies, including YOU, to focus on youth development and develop strategies for reducing the amount of crime committed by juveniles within city limits. This program fills 25 young people’s summer hours with productive activities such as paid work experience, educational support activities, community beautification projects and career exploration. Additionally, each participant is paired with a KDPS officer mentor who checks on them periodically throughout the summer.
Since the program’s implementation, juvenile crime activity in the City of Kalamazoo has dropped 61.2% — from 502 offenders in 2016 to 195 in 2019.