Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher Announces Nearly $1 Million Grant to Promote Public Safety and Prevent School Violence

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) announced the Teen and Police Service Academy (TAPS) has been awarded a $988,550 grant from the Department of Justice’s Preventing School Violence Program.  In 2011, the Houston Police Department and University of Houston created TAPS to build relationships between at-risk youth and law enforcement.  Since then, it has expanded outside of Houston to other police departments in Texas and to at least eight states and territories. 

“Public safety is the first responsibility of government, and I am glad to announce this new funding for the Teen and Police Service Academy that will foster police and youth engagement,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “Promoting positive youth-police interactions increases public safety and prevents school violence, and I am glad to see this investment in our community.” 

“The Teen and Police Service Academy (TAPS) is very excited about the opportunity to continue to serve the Houston area with these federal grant funds,” said Dr. Everette Penn, Executive Director of TAPS. “Forming an intersection between youth and police makes room for better understanding and cultivation between the groups.  We are grateful for the support of Congresswoman Fletcher in working to help youth reach their full potential and make our communities safer.”

“I am pleased the Teen and Police Service Academy (TAPS) program was awarded more than $988,000 in federal grant funds,” said Houston Police Department Chief Troy Finner.  “The TAPS program is designed to build bridges with at-risk youth and increase school safety.  Since the program began in 2012, our officers have successfully built lasting relationships with students.  I believe working with our youth is the key to reducing violence in our community and this program is a cornerstone of that philosophy.  I thank Congresswoman Fletcher for her continued support of this program.”