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Press Release

Police and Prosecutors Join Students for a Day of Learning

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Florida

BLAST (Building Lasting Relationships Between Police and Community) Program

Brings Law Enforcement and Communities Together


TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, together with the Pensacola Police Department and AMIkids, will present a BLAST Program event tomorrow to approximately 50 youth from the AMIkids Pensacola and Emerald Coast programs.


Event: BLAST Program

Location: AMIkids Pensacola

3685 Muldoon Road
Pensacola, FL 32526

Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. CST
Press: A media availability will take place at 12:50 p.m. CST.
Please RSVP to Amy Alexander at if you plan to attend.


United States Attorney Christopher P. Canova: “The BLAST initiative was created by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to provide a forum to exchange information about officer risks and citizen viewpoints. Sharing these perspectives encourages safe interactions between citizens and officers to improve our community.”


Pensacola Police Chief David Alexander III said: “We must continue to work hard at building trusting relationships between citizens and law enforcement to protect the community from crime and disorder. This effort includes our youth.”


AMIkids Inc. representatives said: “#BreakingBarriers is an important priority for AMIkids and our partners in law enforcement as it is critical to our service of building and maintaining healthy, safe communities.”


The BLAST Program offers students an opportunity to meet representatives of the criminal justice community and ask them questions, share their perceptions of law enforcement, and interact with officers in a familiar setting. Officers also provide students with their perspective on responding to dangerous or uncertain circumstances and the importance of remaining calm and following the officers’ directions in these situations.


The schedule will include the following discussion sessions, during which students will have a chance to participate in role play with law enforcement officers:


  • Criminal Justice Overview: Students will learn about each phase of a federal criminal case, including investigation, prosecution, and sentencing.

    Session is open to the media and public, and videography and photography is permitted.

  • Domestic Violence: Students will participate in a scenario in which police respond to a domestic disturbance. Discussion includes the challenges officers face, rights of witnesses and suspects, and benefits of providing information to the police.

    Session is open to the media and public, and videography and photography is permitted.

  • Traffic Stop Simulation: Participants and officers alternate playing the roles of civilians and officers in a traffic stop. Discussion includes de-escalation and the uncertainty officers and vehicle occupants face during a traffic stop.

    Session is open to the media and public, and videography and photography is permitted.

  • Use of Force: Facilitators and students will discuss when law enforcement officers may use force and an officer’s reaction time when confronted with a life-threatening situation.

    This session is closed to the media and public. Reporters may try the simulator equipment after the event ends.


Participating agencies include:

  • United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida

  • Pensacola Police Department

  • AMIkids Pensacola

  • AMIkids Emerald Coast

  • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

  • Drug Enforcement Administration

  • United States Probation Office

  • Homeland Security Investigations

  • Naval Criminal Investigative Service


The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access available public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

For more information, contact:
Amy Alexander, Public Information Officer

(850) 216-3854,

Updated March 21, 2017

Community Outreach