Police veteran, Outside In counselor earn White House honors
A 25-year Portland Police Bureau veteran and a counselor for homeless youth will be honored next week at the White House as Champions of Change.
Portland police Lt. Ric DeLand and Outside In counselor Celia Luce are among 14 people who will be part of a Monday, Sept. 21, White House ceremony for young people and police officers who are building bridges between youth and law enforcement, while improving public safety, according to the White House press office.
In addition to honoring the young people and law enforcement officials, the event will highlight lessons that can help to help similar efforts across the country, according to the White House. Speaking at the event will be Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, Senior Adviser to the President Valerie Jarrett and National Basketball Association player Caron Butler.
DeLand and Luce were one of seven pairs of law enforcement officials and community workers chosen from around the country for the honor. They are the only Northwest pair chosen for the honor this year. Others to be honored are from Kansas, Texas, Wisconsin, Connecticut, North Carolina and Maryland.
DeLand helped start in 2014 foot patrol pilot project that tried to build relationships with residents in some Portland neighborhoods to address concerns about such things as youth homelessness, livability, behavioral impact and crime. The project has produced a 25 percent reduction in crime and improved relationships and cooperation among police, homeless youth, service providers, local government, businesses and residents.
Luce, a peer mentor with Outside In, works with one of four Homeless Youth Continuum partner agencies in Multnomah County. Along with a team of other mentors, alcohol and drug specialists, and mental health specialists, she helps create a recovery culture among homeless youth. Her work includes connecting young people with treatment and resources in the community, and helping them navigate social service systems. She assists with street outreach and coordinates with Portland Police Bureaus foot patrol in downtown Portland.
The Champions of Change program was created to showcase people and programs doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities, according to the White House. The event will be live streamed on the White House website, www.whitehouse.gov/live, at 1:30 p.m. ET (10:30 a.m. PT).
More information about the program is at www.whitehouse.gov/champions; on Twitter at #WHChamps.