New youth safety coalition formed in Meridian

A new coalition was recently formed in Meridian to help promote youth safety, as motor vehicle crashes continue to be the number one killer of young people.

Meridian Advocates for Youth Safety (MAYS) will hold its first meeting Thursday (Feb. 13) at 4 p.m. at the Meridian Police Department, 1401 E. Watertower Street in Meridian. Everyone interested in being involved in youth safety is invited to participate.

Teenagers are particularly encouraged to get involved in the MAYS coalition for their input and ability to engage in peer-to-peer advocacy regarding safety.

In January, Dr. Kelly Browning from Impact Teen Drivers ( guided community volunteers through a comprehensive approach to improve youth safety.

In one day, three events took place. A morning session provided police officers and traffic safety professionals training and materials on how to work with young people.

Later, nearly 100 teenagers gathered to learn how to advocate for youth safety. The day concluded with approximately 120 people attending a town-hall-style meeting where important safety messages and youth safety topics were discussed, and the coalition was launched.

For more information about MAYS or to join the group, contact Sgt. John Gonzales, Meridian Police Department, at (208) 846-7397 or by email at

Published 2-7-14