Cambridge Police Announce Photovoice Youth Employment Project

Grant designed to address causes of unsafe conditions in the community


As part of a national public health initiative to promote safe and healthy communities, the Cambridge Police Department has hired local youth to help address the root causes of unsafe conditions in the city.

Eleven Cambridge residents, ages 15 to 23, will be assisting in a community safety audit as part of a federal Community Transformation Grant awarded to a coalition of Middlesex County communities. The youth will document the causes and effects of unsafe environments in the city through a method called Photovoice.

Photovoice is a participatory action research method that enables people to identify, represent, and enhance their community.  By creating “visual data” through photographs to inform community discussions, this research method has the possibility to give a voice to a wide range of stakeholders.  Participating youth will be asked to examine the theme of safety in Cambridge and take photographs around the city of what they believe to be safe or unsafe.

The team will bring their photos to a group of researchers for a critical analysis, and then will exhibit the findings of their research with stakeholders at the local and state levels.  The outcomes of this audit will be used to address issues in the community that have been identified by the team of youth employees.

Each week, the Cambridge Police Department will post photos taken by the participants on the department’s Facebook page.  View some photos now at

Youths are also being encouraged to tweet their photos in real-time @CambridgePolice using the hashtag #PhotoVoice.  Want to participate?  Join the conversation and share your own photos of Cambridge on Twitter.

The Middlesex County Community Transformation Grant is also funding two other significant public health projects in Cambridge.  The Cambridge Public Health Department is receiving up to $300,000 over five years to promote healthy eating and physical activity, and Cambridge Health Alliance is receiving up to $150,000 over five years to support smoking cessation programs at its clinic sites and in the city’s public housing developments.  Community Transformation Grants were created by the Affordable Care Act.

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Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Cambridge Police Department

Robert C. Haas

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