• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Kids get 'scared straight' at police boot camp

April 10, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 'scared straight' program at Los Angeles schools is whipping at-risk children into shape. At one of the locations children between the ages of 9 and 17 are taking part in a 12 week boot camp at Fremont High School. The camp called the Juvenile Impact Program is run by Los Angeles Police Department officers. The officers use military style techniques to teach discipline.

While the children may have behavior problems at home and at school, when the police officers speak the kids listen.

"A lot of these kids are brought here by their parents on a voluntary basis or they are a court referral," said LAPD Sgt. Art Duran.

It's tough love with a powerful life lesson. The kids are held accountable for their behavior and may have to run a few extra laps or do pushups if they talk back or show disrespect.

While the kids are getting a workout outside, their parents are in a classroom learning about techniques and tools they can use at home.

"It starts at home with the families and ends with the family," said Officer Joe Marrone. "We can make any child do whatever we want here at the boot camp, but once they go home if the parent doesn't enforce what they've learned or what they've seen here really nothing changes in the family style."

"I spoiled him rotten and now I have to be mommy so I have to be really strict on him now. So I am learning from them too on how to deal with him," said Lalisa Banks, a grandmother who now has legal custody over her grandson.

Banks said before the program her 11-year-old grandson was getting out of control.

"They are really good about checking up with us and asking how they were during the week and at school," said parent Marilyn Magno.


Load Comments