Page 47 - March 2021
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7th District CAPS drive program to help local youth
 You’ve probably heard the sounds of zooming cars, gnarly accidents and children laughing every second and fourth Satur- day in various locations around Englewood. It’s the latest initia- tive 7th District CAPS officers are driving to connect with youth.
Inner-City Radio Controlled with Police (RCP) is a biweekly program for law enforcement officers to invest in Englewood youth with an interest in remote control–vehicle racing.
The opportunity to learn, train, compete and freestyle with the vehicles helps develop different skills in STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — according to 7th District Community Policing Sergeant Enrico Dixon.
“This is a mentoring program, because it’s an opportunity for the police and the youth,” affirmed Dixon. “It’s removing chil- dren from situations in Englewood where they may have made different decisions. So we know during this time we have these kids, and we’re able to impact them, on at least a small scale, on Saturdays. They know they have something to do, they have something to look forward to and we remove them from the streets.”
once we get to a point where we
can open it up, it’ll be something
that takes place as an extreme
recreation in communities out-
side of Englewood,” he declared.
“We know that once we get the
foundation completely set, we
will be able to have people neighboring us, or the 'burbs, to come in and also participate with us. Allowing cross-interac- tion, that is something we want to encourage.”
      Through collaboration with the Cobra Back Foundation, In- ner-City RCP provides a nonathletic outlet for children to en- gage with each other in a fun and competitive manner.
“Obviously we’re not kicking balls, throwing balls or running across the field,” Dixon quipped. “Basically the Cobra Back Foundation brought it to us as an athletic alternative.”
The program has had an overwhelmingly positive response so far, Dixon shared. He said that his incredible team of CAPS officers holds races in undisclosed locations — revealed only the week of — to adhere to COVID-19 occupancy restrictions.
The racing is held in a pop-up capacity, with events happen- ing at parks, churches and community halls. Dixon shared that the program depends on community members volunteering their time and space for the youth.
He hopes that as Chicago begins to quell the pandemic and lift restrictions, Inner-City RCP will expand to all 22 police dis- tricts.
“This program is going to really diversify the area, because

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