Lanett Youth Police Camp builds bridges between officers and kids

Lanett Youth Police Camp builds bridges between officers and kids

LANETT, AL (WTVM) - Lanett police officers are forming lifelong friendships with nearly 75 kids during the police department's annual youth police academy.

Tuesday's Lanett Youth Police Academy began with a K-9 demonstration with Officer Martinez and his partner Marco.

The campers had all sorts of question's for Officer Martinez and how he uses Marco to find drugs, capture criminals and track lost people.

"It's a way for kids to better understand what law enforcement is all about, and a way to interact with us and get to know the police officers and know we aren't just the guys arresting people," said Chief Angie Spates.

"We get to go to cool places, have a great lunch and we just have a good time," explained Brent Brown, a second year camper.

Brent, 9, has a joyful smile and perfect, polite manners. He is also proud that he made all A's and B's at school.

This bright kid is well on his way to an incredible future and is thankful for his time with his police officer camp counselors. Brent says he wants to be a police officer when he grows up, so he can help people too.

"They are very helpful, help our community and save people's lives," said Brent.

This week the kiddos will take a trip to the Montgomery Zoo. They've already toured the police department, fire department and county jail and witnessed a firearm demonstration and safety class.

"One of the cool things I learned is gun safety, guns are not something to play with," said 12-year-old DeWayne Rider, a second year camper.

Chief Spates says she hopes campers will end the week knowing police officers are their friends and if they need help, the officers are always there for them. The camp is a perfect example of positive community policing  at it's very best.

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