Many of Children Law Center’s youth clients encounter Metropolitan Police Department officers — especially those who are in foster care, those who are missing youth, children at risk for commercial exploitation and students with special education needs. They rely on MPD to treat them sensitively and keep them safe in their homes, communities and schools.
Children’s Law Center Policy Attorney Elizabeth Oquendo recently shared her testimony about MPD with DC Council’s Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety. She commended MPD for playing a critical role in keeping children in foster care safe while they are in the care of CFSA, as well as for implementing the Pre-Arrest Diversion Program and for their ongoing work with commercially and sexually exploited youth. Nevertheless, she noted that MPD must do more to ensure that children feel safe within school walls by reducing the use of force and intrusive searches by school personnel; consistently communicating with students’ legal representatives prior to interviewing a child; and ensuring that all School Resource Officers are trained on how to respect students’ rights when resolving conflict.
Read the full testimony here: