The Tribal Police Department held their Youth Police Summer Camp last week from Monday, June 13, to Friday, June 17. The camp was designed to establish a positive relationship between law enforcement and the youth in the community. Hands on activities for youth interested in law enforcement included simulators, demonstrations, and everyday safety.
On the first day of camp, the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office gave campers a tour of their S.W.A.T. vehicle, and the kids also toured the Tribal Police Department and met staff. The next day, campers braved the hot weather to enjoy a field trip at Worlds of Fun. On Wednesday, the campers tried out drunk goggles and learned about the dangers of drunk driving; they also learned about gun safety and shot zombies in the shooting simulator. In addition, the Kansas Highway Patrol brought a seatbelt simulator so that the kids could feel the impact of a crash while not wearing a seatbelt, and the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office gave a K9 demonstration. Campers spent time with the Tribal Fire Department on Thursday, where they practiced putting out small fires with fire extinguishers and used fire hoses to knock over safety cone targets. Life Star also flew in their helicopter for the kids to sit in and learn about. On the last day, campers got to enjoy a fishing outing.
The camp activities and lunches were provided free of charge to all participants and were made possible by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, the Tribal Police and Fire Departments, Life Star, Kansas Highway Patrol, and many other local sponsors within the community. Many of the experiences at camp this year were new to the program and were designed to build confidence and leadership skills in the participants.
“It’s just a great experience for everybody,” Officer Alex Batstone said. “We get to do a lot of different activities each day just because of donations from the sponsors. We’ve had Shawnee County S.W.A.T. attend, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office, Highway Patrol, and obviously Tribal Fire and Tribal P.D. All of the food is donated by local sponsors, same as all of the snacks and drinks, so it’s really nice just to have everybody from the community be able to pull together and allow us to put things on like this for the kids.”