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LAPD Read Along

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LAPD Read Along

Los Angeles Public Library, Calif.

Education - Children & Adults | 2017

Innovation Synopsis

"LAPD Read Along" is a partnership between the Los Angeles Public Library and the Community Relations Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. Police officers are trained by the children’s services senior librarian to read to children of varying ages and have regular weekly "Read Along" sessions in the library.


"LAPD Read Along" provides officers an opportunity to connect with the people they serve, and the library is able to offer storytimes in branches without strong volunteer reader support. Reading to children in libraries has increased the police officers’ visibility and lets families see police officers giving back in the neighborhood. By leveraging the library as a welcoming and neutral city entity, our venue encourages positive interactions between the community and authority figures.

Key Elements of Innovation

"LAPD Read Along" highlights the relationship between LAPD and LAPL on maintaining safety in the library – a community’s trusted haven. Children’s author Jarret Krosoczka (Punk Farm, Lunch Lady) penned Platypus Police Squad. A supporter of bringing police to libraries, he has promoted our program and joined us to celebrate its success. Through shared reading and friendly interactions, families build trust in law enforcement while the library reinforces its essential role as a community center.

Achieved Outcomes

Since its inception in 2016, LAPD Read Along has become a regular program with 43 officers reading to children at six branches. To date, 2,928 children have attended storytime with their favorite community heroes. Studies show that positive connections with people in diverse, at-risk neighborhoods improve community relations with and trust of law enforcement. According to parents and children post-programs, they felt more secure in branches and feel police officers are friendly, genuine and helpful.