Pennsylvania

'Bigs in Blue' will try to bridge gap by pairing cops, youth

  • In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 photo, Big Brothers Big Sisters President Pam Iorio speaks during an interview with The Associated Press. One of the country's oldest mentoring organizations is launching a program pairing officers with youth in an effort to address the fraught relationship between police and the communities they serve. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 photo, Big Brothers Big Sisters President Pam Iorio speaks during an interview with The Associated Press. One of the country's oldest mentoring organizations is launching a program pairing officers with youth in an effort to address the fraught relationship between police and the communities they serve. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 photo, Big Brothers Big Sisters President Pam Iorio speaks during an interview with The Associated Press. One of the country's oldest mentoring organizations is launching a program pairing officers with youth in an effort to address the fraught relationship between police and the communities they serve. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    In this Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 photo, Big Brothers Big Sisters President Pam Iorio speaks during an interview with The Associated Press. One of the country's oldest mentoring organizations is launching a program pairing officers with youth in an effort to address the fraught relationship between police and the communities they serve. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)  (The Associated Press)

One of the country's oldest mentoring organizations is launching a program pairing officers with youth in an effort to address the fraught relationship between police and the communities they serve.

Already operating in several of their affiliate branches, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America's 'Bigs in Blue' program is set to begin in January. Officers will volunteer to serve as a 'Big' for a child, interacting weekly for 30 minutes to an hour at the child's school, though longer visits outside of a school setting may happen depending on the relationship. Child participants will be elementary or middle school age.

Big Brothers Big Sisters President Pam Iorio said expanding the program nationally makes sense in the current national climate around community policing.