The Boston Police Department’s Operation Homefront is a national award-winning collaboration between the School Police Unit, Youth Violence Strike Force, Boston Public School Police as well as community- and faith-based organizations. This program operates under the premise that the family provides the first line of defense against gang and criminal activity among youth.
Following a referral, law enforcement officers, Boston Public Schools, service providers, or clergy may conduct weekly home visits to inform parents or guardians about their child’s behavior and to educate them about the warning signs of criminal and/or gang involvement.
This effort sends a strong message to identified youth that neither their school, their community, nor, most importantly, their home will tolerate their actions. In situations that warrant additional services, the School Police Unit will make referrals to social workers at Youth Connect.
In 2007, the School Police Unit made approximately 550 home visits. Officers reported a success rate of 80%. More than 50 faith-based partners participated in the program providing more than 100 schools with an intervention plan for at-risk students and student bodies.