On Thursday, May 2, 2013, the Orange County Human Relations held its 42nd Annual Human Relations Awards Gala at the Grove of Anaheim to honor community members for their outstanding human relations efforts. Awardees included diverse individuals, model community policing programs, and exemplary school intergroup relations programs that create safe and inclusive environments for Orange County’s students and residents.
The Cypress Police Department was awarded an honor in the category of Community Oriented Policing for the Cypress Department’s efforts to provide character-based education to the youth in the community through the Positive Actions thru Character Education (P.A.C.E.) Program, which is based on the Six Pillars of Character from the Josephson Institute: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship.
The development of P.A.C.E was a joint effort of the Cypress Police Department, Cypress School District, Savanna School District, and private schools in Cypress. The 10-week program was created and designed to enhance awareness, influence choices, and educate 6th grade students regarding internet safety, social media, peer pressure, bullying, violence and drug abuse.
The emphasis of P.A.C.E. is creative and non-traditional in that it guides students to become persons of good character and behavior while concurrently forging a positive relationship with the police department. P.A.C.E. has enabled the school districts to be responsible for teaching the program to approximately 900 students each year.