$20,000 donated to city/county youth program

Jefferson County Sheriff Gerald Robinson announced Tuesday that the sheriff’s department had made a $20,000 contribution to the Summer Youth Employment Program.

A locally funded initiative administered by the city of Pine Bluff Human Resources Department, the SYEP provides youth ages 16-21 within the city of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County with enriching and constructive summer work experiences through subsidized placements in the private and government sectors.

The SYEP allows local youth to learn about and experience the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and its many divisions.

The $20,000 contribution will assist with funding the SYEP and payments to participants, six of whom are assigned through the SYEP to work in the Sheriff’s Office through Thursday, July 18.

The SYEP is made possible through generous contributions from various organizations, which enables the city of Pine Bluff and Jefferson County to facilitate the structured environment for many youths who have shown an interest in law enforcement and other careers.

“While assigned to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, SYEP participants had the opportunity to ride-a-long with deputies, tour the Juvenile and Adult Detention Facilities and to see first-hand the wide variety of law enforcement functions carried out by our office,” said Major Lafayette Woods Jr., Operations Commander for the department.

“The program helps youth interested in careers explore various sectors of government and non-government jobs while helping the community and building leadership skills,” Woods said. “The SYEP is a great program that supports local youth and helps develop strong leaders. Sheriff Robinson strongly believes in programs that support youth and gives them opportunities. This is another example of local governments collaborating to achieve one common goal and that goal is to provide our youth of today a chance at a future.”