CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — The Central Falls Police Department received an international award for Leadership in Community Policing this week in San Diego.

Mayor Maria Rivera and police department leaders were honored at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Annual Conference, which is attended by more than 16,000 public safety professionals each year.

Central Falls was specifically recognized for the police department’s Leading Ladies Initiative, a two-day program where teenage girls are matched up with community mentors who have high-powered roles in fields like business, politics, and law enforcement. The teens get a chance to develop a support mechanism and receive a $2,000 scholarship to be used toward higher education.

“From our entire department being the first in the state to be fully trained in nonviolence practices to unique programs like our nationally recognized Leading Ladies Initiative that strengthens community trust and collaboration, this recognition is well-earned,” Rivera said.

She and other officials credited Central Falls’ IACP Leadership in Community Policing award to the police department’s “efforts to build trust and positive relationships” with the people of Central Falls.

“No single factor has been more critical to lessening crime levels than the partnerships we share throughout the city and state in an effort to better serve our community,” Chief Col. Anthony Roberson said.