THE OPTIONS PROGRAM
The New York City Police Foundation and the NYPD established the Options program, which helps New York City youth build decision-making skills and access career-development opportunities through a series of workshops, training programs, and internships. By partnering together, NYPD officers and youth participants in the program are having authentic, thoughtful, and productive discussions regarding real-life situations and challenges that young New Yorkers are facing. The Options curriculum was designed to create better outcomes, by enhancing emotional intelligence, developing de-escalation techniques, and strengthening the situational awareness of its participants.
To date, hundreds of NYPD officers and thousands of young people have participated in these dynamic workshops, which have fostered authentic, thoughtful, and productive discussions regarding real-life situations and skills to navigate the challenges young people in New York City face.
Options Workshops uses virtual reality scenarios to allow for both NYPD officers and youth participants to hear different perspectives, build common ground, and gain an understanding of the impact of their decisions.
Over 20,000 young New Yorkers,14-18 years old, have participated in Options workshops using virtual reality (VR) technology to promote collaborative discussions on how to apply emotional intelligence and de-escalation techniques to real-life situations. The VR scenarios were developed in partnership with youth to reflect issues they identified and are concerned about such as police stops, cyber-bullying, hate crimes, gun situations, sexual assaults, gangs, peer pressure, and domestic violence.