The 1994 drive by-shooting death of 4-year old Ashley Boss spurred the Phoenix Police Department to create a Community Effort to Abate Street (C.E.A.S.) Violence program to combat youth violence. Designed to give 7th and 8th grade students an alternative to violence and gang behavior, and encourage positive solutions, the Wake Up! Program teaches social and personal responsibility, community pride, life management skills and conflict resolution. Wake Up! makes youth aware that choices exist and that bad choices have consequences. Wake Up! goes beyond simply instructing in what behaviors they should avoid; police officers present and demonstrate an alternative path for students to follow. Participation by youth requires, and then perpetuates, a commitment of service to the community, avoidance of violence and positive achievement. These efforts are accomplished as a group, within a social environment, providing peer support and team building. Partnerships are created among the police, students, parents, schools, community organizations, and local businesses.
The Wake Up! programs emphasize substance abuse prevention, violence reduction, leadership and organizational skills, and personal responsibility.
There are several Wake Up! programs that operate summer programs and instill positive values for children to follow during the summer. SRO's and some school staff personnel run the summer programs. During these programs, the students have an opportunity to go on a variety of educational field trips as well as listen to various educational guest speakers from within the Phoenix Police Department provide them lessons on their area of expertise: i.e. forensic artist, homicide, graffiti detectives, etc.