Elkhart County officers learning more about teen brains

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WSBT on 11/10/2015 by Suzanne Spencer

CaptureELKHART COUNTY – More than a dozen police officers across Elkhart County are learning how to better connect with teenagers.

“It’s really important that our officers know that when you’re dealing with adolescents…teenagers, that you’re talking in ways that match up with their cognitive abilities and their developmental stages,” said Brian Lumpkin, a former law enforcement officer and speaker for ‘Strategies for Youth.’

Officers from Elkhart County, City, and juvenile probation officers are participating in a 4-day training presentation at the Sheriff’s Department. The goal is to better educate officers on how to interact with teens in an effective way by looking at how an adult brain differs from a teen brain.

Lumpkin says teens are emotionally driven, often taking risks and making aggressive decisions more so than those over 25.

“When you understand that, you can speak to them in a way that you’ll get better responses back,” said Lumpkin.