By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 29, 2017
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WCTV) -- 20 Valdosta High School students are standing up and speaking out as the founding members of the police department's new youth program.
They invited local police officers to talk to nearly a hundred classmates and friends on Wednesday.
The police chief and several officers informed students of their rights, and taught them what to do if ever stopped by police.
"Some of the students in our school come from a different background where police are presented to be the bad guys," says Jalen Smith, with the Valdosta Police Youth Advisory Board.
The board says the presentation was their first call to action.
"We're there to bridge that gap, kind of like the glue that sticks the two together," says Justin Carter, with the Valdosta Police Youth Advisory Board.
"Our thoughts come from young minds, the same age of kids that are committing these crimes in the streets," says Smith.
The group says events like this are just the first steps to fighting the teen crime that's plaguing their community and school.
"It needs to be a community action to band together and lower crime rate and improve the safety in the community," says Haley Hogan, also with Valdosta Police Youth Advisory Board.
The students are now showing the best way to lead is by example.