School Resource Officers
David Holmes - Elmira Free Academy
Frank Hillman - Ernie Davis Middle School
Youth Court Coordinator
The Youth Services Team is a collaborative effort of the Elmira Police Department and Elmira City School District, as well as several other criminal justice agencies and local social service organizations. The Youth Services Team is focused to provide a coordinated and comprehensive approach of enforcing laws relative to juveniles and intervening for youths at risk of becoming an abused or neglected child.
The Youth Services Team is composed of Investigators, School Resource Officers, and the Youth Court Coordinator working in tandem with police officers, school administrators, social workers, and other organizations to educate youths about the criminal justice system, investigate juvenile crimes, and provide youthful offenders with an immediate response through a trial and conviction by peers. The success of the Youth Services Team can be attributed to the sharing of respective skills, information, and resources to focus on the needs of youths in our community in order to enhance the outcomes for children and families.
School Resource Officers
The City of Elmira and the Elmira City School District have worked cooperatively to implement and administer the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program in Elmira City Schools. The program is a nationally accredited program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer in the educational environment.
It is a proactive approach to dealing with the pressures and problems that face todayís youth. This includes the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, peer pressure, gang activity and affiliation, school violence, and sexual activity. The School Resource Officer serves as a positive role model and a resource to teens, parents, teachers, and school administrators.
The Duties of the School Resource Officer in the Elmira City School District include investigating crimes that occur within the schools and on school property, provide educational resources for the prevention of juvenile delinquency, identify and counsel troubled youths to divert them away from Family Court and the juvenile justice system, serve as a law enforcement resource for school personnel, and develop a trusting relationship with students. A School Resource Officer should be the first line of defense against a community's struggle to fight gangs, drugs, alcohol, vandalism, and school violence. The School Resource Officer Program is funded by the City of Elmira, the Elmira City School District and the Chemung County Department of Social Services.
Officer David Holmes is the School Resource Officer for Elmira Free Academy. He has served as a Police Officer for the Elmira Police Department since 1980. He has a Bachelors Degree in Social Services and Criminal Justice from Elmira College, obtained while maintaining his full-time job as a Police Officer. He has been an instructor for the Freedom and Law class at Elmira Free Academy since 1998. He is a retired helicopter crewman from the US Navy.
Officer Frank Hillman is the School Resource Officer for Ernie Davis Middle School. He has served as a Police Officer for the Elmira Police Department since 2002. He has a Bachelors Degree in Science-Biology from SUNY College of Enviromental Science and Forestry. He is a Police Instructor and a member of the SWAT Team since 2004.
Youth Court Program
Youth Court is an alternative to the criminal justice system for young people who have committed a crime or an offense. The goal of Youth Court is to intervene in early anti-social, delinquent, and criminal behavior, and to reduce the incidence and prevent the escalation of such behavior.
Youth Court is a diversion program that gives first-time offenders a chance to avoid entering the criminal justice system or Family Court. It holds these youthful offenders accountable for their actions as they are judged by their peers. It also gives members an opportunity to work in the criminal justice system firsthand, prosecuting, defending, and judging the actions of their peers.
The Elmira Youth Court was started in Elmira in 1997 as a proactive response to increasing juvenile crime. Rather than allow the situation to spiral out of control, Police Chief Michael Ciminelli and the Elmira City Council adopted the Youth Court Program and it was developed by Rick Kallenborn. Youths who went through the Youth Court Program received a second chance to right their wrongs without obtaining a criminal record. Instead, the Youth Court issues sanctions such as performing community service for a local organization, write an essay or report, write a letter of apology to the victim or victimís parents, attend instructional classes such as Anger Management, make restitution for damages incurred, and several others.
The Elmira Youth Court program is one of the busiest in the State of New York. Handling more than 300 cases per year, it serves the City of Elmira and the Elmira City School District. Offenders are referred to the Youth Court by the school district for actions on school property, by a police officer, or by a probation officer.
The success of the Youth Court has been tremendous. Nearly 90% of the youths complete their sanctions within the specified time. Many offenders who are issued community service continue to serve their organization after completing the sanction. Others become interested in the criminal justice system and become members of the Youth Court Program.
There are more than 80 members of the Elmira Youth Court Program. Members serve as clerks, attorneys, and judges handling cases, making judgments, and issuing sanctions. Members of Youth Court are young people who have successfully completed a law-related education training program. Areas of instruction include an overview of the criminal justice system, the organization, jurisdiction, and operation of Youth Court, the penal law, the consequences of crime, and sentencing issues. Also discussed are rehabilitation as a goal, the nature and types of evidence that are admissible in court and other issues. The training program concludes with trials followed by a bar exam. After the bar exam, interviews are conducted with the Youth Court Coordinator and Youth Court members are selected to fill vacant spots. Each member of Youth Court is required to sign and adhere to a confidentiality statement.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Youth Court member, applications are available in the Guidance Counselorís Office or from a social worker. Members must be attending a school in the Elmira City School District and must be in 7th through 12th grade.
City of Elmira CurfewThe City of Elmira has a curfew for youths 16 years of age and younger that prohibit them from being in a public place between the hours of 11:00pm and 5:00am. Both parents and youths that are deemed in violation of this ordinance shall be held accountable and dealt with accordingly by the Elmira Police Department.
Click here for the complete details of the Curfew Ordinance