Dear CLA Families,

This Friday, December 7, CLA staff and students will be engaging in a community event, “Pop Up With A Cop.” It is our goal to create a forum for the CLA students and police officers to speak to each other as human beings, instead of just adversaries during altercations.  Police are feared and disliked by teens today, especially African American teens.

The program was organized by CLA parent Derrick Dark who is an officer with the Cleveland Clinic Police Department, CLA parent Sonya Shakir, program coordinator of the City of Cleveland Community Outreach and Cleveland Police Department Officer Rahim.

Together, Mr. Dark, and Ms. Shakir secured participation from over 25 police and security agencies whose representatives will spend time simply meeting and eating with the middle school students about topics of interest to them.  Police and security agencies include (but is not limited to) the Cleveland Clinic Police Department, Case Western Reserve University Police, the Cleveland Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Cleveland Heights Police, Tri-C Police, South Euclid Police, Cleveland State Police, University Hospital Police, the FBI, and Shaker Heights Police Department.

The planned event will consist of a morning assembly with the entire school beginning at 9:00 am where each law enforcement agency will be introduced. Following that, the students will Meet, Eat and Engage with the law enforcement representatives in small groups in their classrooms. The goal is for the students to get to know the police and security officers as human beings beyond their role as authority figures. Rather those who are on their side, whose job and responsibility it is to serve them, and as people who care about them and their communities. Students will also have the chance to network with local teen community organizations (Boys and Girls Club, Fatima Center, etc.) that offer enrichment engagement programming.

Please see the attached flyer produced by the Cleveland Clinic: Pop Up with a Cop – Clinic Flyer 12.7.2018 Citizens Leadership Academy

We are truly looking forward to this event and the impact that it has on our students. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.


Mrs. Gruhin