Young Leaders Programme

18 September 2015

Thirteen Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) members from across Northern Ireland are visiting the United States as part of an innovative leadership development program to nurture future leaders within local communities.

The Transformation, Advocacy, Leadership, Knowledge (TALK) program, running for a second year, aims to support emerging young leaders with the help of a number of partners. This year’s participants have all recently been appointed as Independent Members to the new Policing and Community Safety Partnerships. The twelve-month initiative will focus on developing their skills in negotiation, conflict resolution, and civic leadership.

The initiative is a partnership between the U.S. Consulate, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Funding for the program has been provided by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State.

The international component to the program will be provided by the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), a non-partisan institution that provides training and support for those working for peace.

Speaking about the programme U.S. Consul General, Daniel J Lawton said:

“The U.S. Government is delighted to support this initiative designed to empower young people with a proven capacity to bring positive change to their communities. I very much appreciate the support of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and the Police Service of Northern Ireland for this program and look forward to hearing from the participants on their return from the United States.”

Welcoming the participation of PCSP members in the programme, Policing Board Chair Anne Connolly said:

“The Board is delighted that funding has been secured for this programme for a second year and that the focus is on young people who have been appointed to serve on PCSPs. The next year will provide the opportunity to share experiences, build relationships and develop both professional and personal skills which we hope will assist them in their new roles as Independent PCSP Members.”

Welcoming the initiative, Chief Constable George Hamilton: “The Police Service of Northern Ireland is extremely pleased to be involved in this the second TALK programme. This initiative presents not only a learning experience for those involved but also an opportunity for them to share their views and engage with other organisations and groups in the US to explore ways of improving policing with the community from different perspectives.”


For further information please contact the Policing Board Communications Office on 07801 738795

Notes to Editors

Program: The Transformation, Advocacy, Leadership, Knowledge (TALK) programme: This is a 12 month programme which aims to support and develop emerging young leaders, to provide leadership at a community level to support building confidence in policing. It involves an international strand in WashingtonDC for 8 days from the 18th - 26th September 2015 and has several key areas of focus:
Relationship building between participants from other/different communities;
Building relationships, trust and confidence between communities and the police;
Exploring Policing With the Community (PWC) philosophy, culture and ethos and planning to make that happen;
Understanding accountability of policing to the community, the Policing Board, Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) and Office of the Police Ombudsman Northern Ireland (OPONI);
Training on self-awareness, negotiation skills, conflict resolution, and communication skills;
Understanding a political environment and building civic leadership;
Exposure to an international perspective and different community projects; and
The Cross Border Strand which will support grass roots networking and engagement to promote a greater understanding of North-South co-operation and the potential for further peace-building in Northern Ireland.

  • Participants: The following were selected to participant in the programme
  • Jason Balmer - Causeway Coast and Glens PCSP
  • Roisin Brown - Causeway Coast and Glens PCSP
  • Michele Bryans - East Belfast DPCSP
  • Keara Downey - Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon PCSP
  • Liam Duggan - Mid Ulster PCSP
  • Catherine Kelly - Fermanagh and Omagh PCSP
  • Wendy Kerr - Mid and East Antrim PCSP
  • Thomas Larkham - Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon PCSP
  • Emma McIlveen - Mid and East Antrim PCSP
  • Michael Murray - North Belfast DPCSP
  • Ashleigh Perry - Mid and East Antrim PCSP
  • Emma Sheerin - Mid Ulster PCSP
  • Lauren Slane - West Belfast PCSP

Notes to Editors Ends