TAPS is Different from Traditional Youth and Police Programs

TAPS places at-risk teens on equal footing with police, in order to exchange ideas and learn from each other. The program brings together the best of community policing along with lessons learned from Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.), the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program, Citizen's Police Academy, Explorers and other school- and community-based initiatives to move to the next phase of community policing to actively engage one of the least-participatory groups in the community: at-risk teens.

It is awe inspiring to see at-risk teens and police working together to understand why crime occurs and most importantly, what to do about it. Tapping into this resource creates a synergistic outcome that moves the discussion past “us” verses “them”, so that police are seen as assets to the community and youth move from being at-risk to at-promise.

TAPS Center is research-based and operates with a goal to change the way teens think about police, as well as how police think about at-risk teens.

"TAPS...among its goals is to improve interactions between police and at-risk teenagers. It's the kind of program needed as the nation's methods of policing undergo intense scrutiny and public-police relations are frayed."

- Houston Chronicle, Aug. 22, 2016

The Teen and Police Service Center

In 2016 with growth of the TAPS signature program, TAPS Academy, the TAPS Center opened in order to respond to the need for a location focused on providing Teaching, Training, Programs and Research to reduce the social distance between all youth and police.

At Risk and Reducing Social Distance

Although the TAPS Center provides programming for all youth (ages 10-24), its focus is that of at-risk youth according to the definition provided by the Texas Education Agency.

Thus, we believe teaching skills through our programming, providing training to build relationships between police and youth and constantly researching to improve evidence-based practices is the TAPS way to a better community for all.

We are going where we have never gone. To do what we have never done. To have what we have never had. And to no longer be an at-risk kid, but an at-promise teen.

- The TAPS Creed


Dedicated to Helping Youth and Police Be the Best They Can Be

Our leadership puts theory into practice, while balancing experience with the voice of youth in order to bring 21st Century Policing practices to communities.


Board Members


The TAPS Timeline

The TAPS Center reach continues to grow through partnerships with numerous law enforcement agencies around the world.

  • December 14, 2011

    Teen And Police Service Academy begins through a partnership with the Houston Police Department
  • 2014

    Galveston Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2014

    Ponce, PR Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2014

    Columbus, Ohio Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2014

    Royal St. Christopher Police Force joins TAPS Academy
  • 2014

    Tampa Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2014

    El Paso Sheriff's Office joins TAPS Academy
  • 2015

    TAPS Academy becomes a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
  • 2015

    Chicago Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2015

    La Marque Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2015

    New York City Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2016

    TAPS Center Opens
  • 2016

    St. Maarten Police Force joins TAPS Academy
  • 2016

    Richmond Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2017

    Tuscaloosa Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2018

    Norristown Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2019

    Kansas City Police Department joins TAPS Academy
  • 2020

    Mocksville Police Department joins TAPS Academy

TAPS Awards and Recognitions

TAPS is honored to have been recognized by several organizations through the years.


Thanks to the generosity of organizations who work to fund TAPS academy through grants, we have been able to work towards reducing the social distance between youth and police in our communities. We are thrilled to have the support and are anxious to make change.


Find a Location Near You

TAPS Academy provides a school-based curriculum that brings law enforcement, community services and youth together through an 11-week program. Students also earn one high school credit.
TEXAS: Houston • Galveston • La Marque • El Paso

FLORIDA: Tampa • Miami

OHIO: Columbus • Marion

PENNSYLVANIA: Norristown • Upper Darby

U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS: St. Croix • St. Johns • St. Thomas

Tuscaloosa, ALABAMA • Chicago, ILLINOIS • Mocksville, NORTH CAROLINA • Las Vegas, NEVADA • New York City, NEW YORK • Richmond, VIRGINIA • Ponce, PUERTO RICO • St. Kitts • Barbados

We are also proud to be in the following Houston-area middle and high schools:

Hitchcock Middle School • Fonville Middle School • McReynolds Middle School • Attucks Middle School • Thomas Middle School • Key Middle School • Jane Long Middle School • Deady Middle School • Lawson Middle School • International Leadership of Texas Middle School • Las Americas Middle School • Regan Middle School • Yates High School • Madison High School • Wheatley High School • Sterling High School • Kashmere High School • Forest Brook High School • Worthing High School • North Forest High School • Booker T. Washington High School • Sam Houston High School • Westbury High School • Wisdom High School