Guns, gangs, police dogs and cybercrimes: those are just a few of the areas of policing children can explore at Calgary Police Service's new YouthLink Interpretive Centre.
The facility opened today and features videos, photos and interactive displays. The centre aims to educate students and prevent crime by building positive relationships between kids and officers.
"It really is an opportunity to speak to kids and to teach them about the realities around gangs, around drugs, around bullying and some of those issues that are really tough to speak to kids about," said acting deputy chief Trevor Daroux.
Located in northeast Calgary
Housed at police headquarters on Westwinds Drive in Calgary's northeast, YouthLink specifically targets Grade 6 students with classroom curriculum activities that will reach about 15,000 students every year.
"The work that the police service here in Calgary is doing in engaging youth is fantastic," said Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley at the grand opening Monday.
Much of the funding for the centre came from a $500-million Calgary Police Foundation contribution.
"Our focus is on early intervention, prevention and education for our children," said foundation chair Brian Ferguson. "This is an amazing world-class facility."
The centre will be open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays with free admission starting Oct. 2.