The Teens Initiating Change youth program was established in 1998 by School Resource Officer, India R. Smith in the school system of Chatham County, Savannah, Georgia. In 2002, Officer India Smith relocated to the City of Riverdale Police Department in Riverdale, Georgia. Upon the request of the City of Riverdale Police Chief, Thetus Knox, the youth program was set in motion there. In 2008, Officer India Smith was assigned to the Clayton County Police Department, and upon the request of Chief Jeff Turner, the youth program was implemented there as well. In 2010, Officer India Smith was brought on to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office where the youth program was also requested by the Clayton County Sheriff.
We believe that crime prevention works. It is economical, safer, and healthier for communities to prevent crime rather than to treat its victims, deal with its perpetrators, and lose civic health and productivity.
But the responsibility of crime prevention does not fall on one entity; it's everyone's business. Law enforcement agencies, however, often are the focal point in crime prevention. To make prevention work, we will introduce " Teens Initiating Change Youth Program". The Youth Program is designed for Clayton County youth only. We will take pride in choosing youth between the ages of 14-19 who can demonstrate leadership in their communities. As a law enforcement officers, we operated under strict guidelines. As such, the youth involved in the program will operate under the same guidelines and high standards for both education and emotional growth.