U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

2019 Shannon Grant Basketball Tournament Champs

Violence Prevention Programs

Cambridge Police

Violence prevention requires an investment of resources, people, leadership and commitment. It can be a complex problem that requires comprehensive solutions and participation from multiple stakeholders. The City of Cambridge recognizes the importance of collaboration and the commitment required to best support this critical work, which often involves our youth and young adults. Reducing crime, increasing safety, encouraging community involvement, and creating pathways to employment are year-round prioritiesfor the Cambridge Police Department (CPD), the Department of Human Service Programs (DHSP) and many other City departments and organizations. 

An overview of the programming associated with this work is outlined below and includes diversion-based programs, problem solving strategies, youth and community programs, sports leagues and programs, neighborhood outreach, special events, and volunteer and employment opportunities. 

Contact Information

For more information about any of these programs, please contact:

Department of Human Service Programs
51 Inman Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-349-6200
askdhsp@cambridgema.gov

or

Cambridge Police Department
Kessen L. Green
Director of Outreach & Community Programs
125 Sixth Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
617-349-6009

Additional Information

Diversion-Based Programs

The mission of the Safety Net Collaborative is to foster positive youth development, promote mental health, support safe school and community environments, and limit youth involvement in the juvenile justice system through coordinated prevention, intervention, and diversion services for Cambridge youth and families. The professionals involved in Safety Net (the Cambridge Police Department Family and Social Justice Section, Cambridge Health Alliance , the Department of Human Services, Cambridge Public Schools, Department of Children and Families, and Riverside Community Care) conduct outreach to families to develop an action plan that is tailored to meet the unique needs of the child.

Police-Based Juvenile Diversion Manual Graphic

New “Police-Based Juvenile Diversion” Manual:
Designed to help serve as a turnkey for police departments and municipalities, the Police-Based Juvenile Diversion Manual provides an overview of the Safety Net Program, guidance on establishing critical partnerships, the key steps to delivering a structured case management process, and tools to help evaluate the effectiveness of such a diversion program. Also included are sample key documents, including letters, draft agreements and youth service plans to help expedite the implementation of similar programs for other police departments and municipalities. Download Now.

Problem-Oriented Strategies

The Cambridge Police Department uses a Gun Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS) for its Focused Deterrence Program. This program is based on extensive research that shows that to stop gun violence, resources must be focused on those individuals engaged in shootings. In the CPD model, two Focused Deterrence Detectives and a Clinical Support Unit Social Worker outreach individuals in the city who have been associated with gun violence. The goal of Focused Deterrence is providing education, identifying barriers to that individual (e.g. housing instability, unemployment, mental health issues, etc.), offering city supports and services to remove those barriers, and ultimately stopping their involvement with gun violence.  If the person declines this support and continues to engage in gun violence in the city, then the Focused Deterrence Detectives will ensure that proper enforcement of further gun violence takes place in conjunction with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.  

Youth Engagement

Cambridge Youth Programs (CYP), a division of DHSP, offers year-round, high-quality programming for pre-teens, middle schoolers, and teens at five Youth Centers across Cambridge. CYP's purpose is to provide Cambridge teens with a just, joyful and caring community where they forge healthy relationships, discover who they are, and develop new skills. CYP’s diverse, multi-talented staff provides direct service, enrichment opportunities, and mentorship to young people. Programming is offered Monday-Friday during afterschool hours, school vacation weeks, and summer camps, and focuses on leadership development, connection with peers and adults, and civic engagement.

CYP offers paid internships year-round; themes include:

  • Boys II Men
  • Virtual Voices
  • Glow Up: Interactive Spaces
  • and more

CYP also partners with DHSP’s Office of Workforce Development to offer paid teen internships, including the Neighborhood Service Project during the school year and a variety of summer internships. Cambridge Police Officers often participate in CYP programming to foster trusting relationships between officers, youth, and teens.

My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Cambridge Task Force, in partnership with the City of Cambridge, launched a Summer Empowerment Program in 2020 that provides Cambridge youth with a suite of skills to expand their personal toolkits. The four-week curriculum includes sessions on Financial Literacy, Executive Functioning, College and Career Planning, Social Justice and Policy, Social Emotional Supports, and Health and Wellness. Read More

Sports Leagues and Programs

Cambridge Police Officers and DHSP’s Recreation Division lead or participate in a variety of sports leagues, programs and events throughout the year, including Cambridge Pride, the Late Night Summer Basketball Program, Night Court, Boxing Program, Soccer Nights, and other activities in Youth Centers, the YMCA and other areas in the city. The Cambridge Boxing Program is a collaboration between the Cambridge Police Department Youth & Family Services Unit and the Cambridge YMCA. The training is for learning the sport of boxing and is available to men and women ages 13 and up.

  • Cambridge Pride Boys & Girls Basketball Program
    • Dates: October- March
    • Weekly Practices & Games on Weekends
    • Requirements: Grades 6th-8th
  • Soccer Nights: Co-Ed
    • Locations & Addresses:
      Sennott Park: Broadway & Prospect St, Cambridge, MA 02139
      Russell Field: 333 Rindge Ave, Cambridge 02140
    • Dates: (One Week) June or July
    • Time: 6:00pm-8:00PM
    • Requirements: Ages 5-12
  • 3 on 3 Basketball League
    • Location: Clemente Morgan Park
    • Day: Tuesdays
    • Dates: June-August
    • Time: 6:00pm-9:00pm
    • Requirements: Ages 18 and Up
  • Sion Chambers Late Summer Night Basketball Program
    • Location: Cambridge Community Art Center
    • Dates: July-September
    • Days: Friday & Saturday
    • Requirements: Ages 18-30 years old
    • Time: 8:00pm-Midnight
  • Night Court Basketball League
    • Location: Gately Youth Center
    • Dates: July-August
    • Days: Tuesday & Thursday
    • Time: 9:00pm-Midnight
    • Requirements: Ages 17-21
  • Cambridge Boxing Program Boys & Girls
    • Location: YMCA
    • Days: Tuesday & Thursday (Full Calendar Year)
    • Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm
    • Requirements: Ages 12 & Older
  • Cambridge Recreation Summer Basketball Leagues (July - August, registration opens in June):
    Davonte Neal Instructional League
    • Location: Sennott Park (243 Harvard Street)
    • Days: Monday & Wednesday
    • Dates: June-August
    • Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
    • Requirements: Ages 8-11
    Sharif Moustafa Instructional League
    • Location: Glacken Field Courts
    • Days: Tuesday & Thursday
    • Dates: June-August
    • Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm
    • Requirements: Ages 9-13
    Fast Break Boys
    • Location: Hoyt Field (Off of Western Ave)
    • Days: Tuesday & Thursday
    • Dates: June-August
    • Times: 6:00pm-8:00pm
    • Requirements: Ages 12-14 (Grades 6-8)
    Eury Stamps, Sr. Basketball League
    • Location: Hoyt Field (Off of Western Ave)
    • Days: Wednesday & Friday
    • Dates: June-August
    • Times: 6:00pm-8:00pm
    • Requirements: Ages 15-19 (Grades 9-12+)

Between Night Court and the Sion Chambers Memorial Late Night Summer Basketball Program, the Cambridge Police and community partners run basketball leagues four nights a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) throughout the summer from 8-12 p.m. In addition to offering basketball, these leagues provide game room/social recreation and informal mentoring opportunities for teens.

Neighborhood Outreach

Cambridge Police Youth Resource Officer

Throughout the year, the Cambridge Police and other City departments participate in frequent community meetings – virtually and in-person – to address resident and businesses questions, concerns and recommendations.

In the warmer weather, Cambridge Police officers increase their patrols by foot and by bicycle. These officers not only help provide residents with a greater sense of safety around the city, but they also promote safe driving, riding and walking. Many officers are equipped with free 7-Eleven coupons and reward youth for good behavior. Additionally, CPD Neighborhood Sergeants are visible and active in the community through neighborhood clean-ups, City movie nights, music concerts at local parks, National Night Out, neighborhood block parties, BBQs, Cambridge Book Bike events and much more.

Special Events

Danehy Park Family day photo

Every June, Cambridge hosts “Safer Homes, Safer Community, a gun buy-back that supports the City’s initiative to reduce accidental injuries in the home and help residents safely remove unwanted firearms from their homes. The event is a collaboration of the City, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office, and faith and community-based organizations.

Other special events that encourage community involvement include Hoops-n-Health, Port Pride Day, Danehy Park Family Day, Ethiopian Pride Day, 362-364 Rindge Avenue Summer Barbeques, Cambridge Bike Giveback events, Community Peace Walks, and much more.

Employment and Volunteer Programs

Youth Public Safety Academy: Ages 8-12

In mid-August each summer, the week-long Middlesex Sheriff’s Office Youth Public Safety Academy is held for Cambridge residents 8-12 years old. The registration period is typically open in early March.

The camp is designed to expose our youngest residents to role models in public safety—including the Cambridge Police and Fire Departments — as well as to teach them valuable life and safety lessons. Cadets participate in a series of activities throughout the camp, visiting with local police and fire officials, learning how to make evacuation plans for emergency situations, and participating in exercises designed to demonstrate the power and importance of teamwork.

Youth Explorers Program: Ages 12-14

Started in October 2019, the new Cambridge Police Youth Explorers Program is available for 7th and 8th graders in Cambridge. The Youth Explorers Program meets monthly for 90 minutes on Monday evenings at the Cambridge Police Department throughout the school year and participants will learn more about each of the units within the Department. Participants have an opportunity to remain in the program for up to three years.

Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP): Ages 14 - Summer after Completing High School
Managed by DHSP’s Office of Workforce Development (OWD), MSYEP is a six-week summer jobs program serving approximately 800 -1,000 Cambridge youth each year, with priority given to students eligible for free or reduced lunch. MSYEP provides young people with an early work experience or career-related enrichment opportunity with public or non-profit organizations. The program provides youth with a job assignment, a wage of $14.25 per hour for a 20-hour work week and a Liaison who conducts youth development workshops and provides ongoing support to teens and worksites.

Youth Summer Police Academy: Ages 14-18
Cambridge Police Youth Academy

Each summer, the Cambridge Police host the Cambridge Youth Police Academy, a 6-week, 120 hour instructional program designed to expose participating youth (ages 14-18) to the various duties associated with the law enforcement profession through hands-on experience as part of the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. The registration period is typically open in early April.

Youth workers learn about the role and function of Cambridge Police Officers and varying units within the Department, including the Traffic Unit, Explosive Ordnance Unit, and Special Response Team. They are also able to learn about and practice OUI stops, traffic stops, handcuffing, baton techniques and self-defense. Participants gain understanding about juvenile law, rights, and responsibilities with Strategies for Youth and the role of the Cambridge Fire Department, Emergency Communications Department and Pro EMS in public safety.

Cadet Program: Ages 18-23

In November 2019, the Cambridge Police launched a new Cadet Program designed for Cambridge residents 18-23 years old, who are interested in a career in public safety with the Department. The two-year program offers paid positions that provide on-the-job and classroom training. Police Cadets serves as extensions of our officers and they gain valuable insight into the Department’s community policing/case management model. Once they have successfully completed the program and passed the civil service police examination, a Police Cadet will be eligible for appointment as a police officer.

Next Up: Ages 18-24
Next Up is a career exploration program offered by DHSP’s Office of Workforce Development. It is designed for young residents, ages 18-24, who graduated from high school but are not enrolled in college or a training program. The program helps young people who are feeling stuck explore their interests, gain work experience, and get the support they need to plan their next steps. Supports for participants include paid internships, weekly skill-building workshops, career coaching, team building and career exploration activities. The three-month program runs once per year, usually in the fall or winter.

Cambridge Works: Ages 18-35
Cambridge Works, offered by DHSP’s Office of Workforce Development, is the City’s transitional jobs program, open to Cambridge residents ages 18-35. It serves residents who do not have a college degree and have not been able to get or keep jobs due to limited work experience, legal or personal issues, or gaps in their work history. During the program, participants receive a 3-month paid internship, support from a case manager, weekly job readiness classes, and job placement assistance. Program cycles run twice a year.

Cambridge Auxiliary Police: Ages 18+

The Cambridge Auxiliary Police Department has been serving the city of Cambridge since 1941. Originally created as a civil defense measure, the Auxiliary consists of volunteers who assist the Cambridge Police Department with traffic and crowd control at parades, festivals, road races, and other city events. The Auxiliary also conducts vehicle and foot patrols during holidays and other times as needed.

Interested in being part of the Cambridge Auxiliary Police? Please fill out the Initial Inquiry Information Form as well as the Background & Record Release Form and bring/mail it to the Cambridge Police Auxiliary at 125 6th Street in Cambridge.

Page was last modified on 7/28/2022 3:18 PM
Contact Us

How can we help?

Please provide as much detail below as possible so City staff can respond to your inquiry:

As a governmental entity, the Massachusetts Public Records Law applies to records made or received by the City. Any information received through use of this site is subject to the same provisions as information provided on paper.

Read our complete privacy statement


Service Requests

Enter a service request via Commonwealth Connect for things like missed trash pickups, potholes, etc.