LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

LMPD's Gentleman's Academy helps troubled youth


Some of Louisville most troubled youth are now in the hands of Metro Police.

The young men are all part of the police department's gentleman's academy. The program is being housed at Spalding University. The goal is to help the teens avoid the negative paths they were on before joining.

"I had problems with controlling my anger," says 14 year old Anthony Jackson.

Jackson admits he can be a hothead. "And I had a negative attitude."

And says most of his anger stems from a problem at home. "My mom and my dad split apart. And you know, it was hard living without my daddy."

Jackson is one of several dozen teenage boys in Metro Police custody at the university.

"The age group we got is 12 to 17," says Anthony Smith, Director for safe neighborhoods.

The teenagers are not exactly in trouble with the law, but it's safe to say most of them have been or were headed in that direction. Most of them also have several the risk factors.

Smith says, "Some of the risks factors are absentee, like I said, some are connected to the juvenile center, some are being raised by grandparents, some are being raised in single parent households."

And that's why the program requires a little tough love and around the clock attention. During all of that time away from home, the main focus is on making positive changes.

"Our goal is to really say to them, this is what you can be lets get on the right path to get there," says Smith."

"I learned responsibility, self-control and how to control my anger," says Jackson. After only 3 weeks, he believes he has changed for the better. Now he wants his parents and everyone else to see it, too.

Jackson says, "I want to show them that I've changed from an immature boy to a mature adult."

This is the first year for the program but organizers say it will not be the last.