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Police Camp helps children and officers relate

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 09:57:00-04

CLARKSVILLE, Ohio -- At Police Camp, children learn about police without their guns and badges. 

The Cincinnati Police Department's five-day camp for children ages 10 to 15 at Camp Joy in Clarksville is in its 50th year. It features a combination of regular camp activities and police interaction. 

"It's about being with these kids," Sgt. Jacob Hicks said. "They come out every year with me and I grow more than they do, but they grow with me a little."

The campers get a firsthand look at lights and sires, a SWAT vehicle and even an Air Care helicopter. 

Hicks said the camp is how he found his career in policing.

"I came to police camp when I was a kid," he said. "And I would never have been introduced to that because of the neighborhood I grew up in."

Seventh-grade camper Analya McCalley said she wants to get into law enforcement too, specifically hostage negotiation.

"They try to calm them down and talk to them and try to negotiate with them," she said.

The idea is to bond with the children and give them a view of police that's relatable.

"So here's an opportunity for us to be human," Officer Chip Todd said. "To be fathers, to be brothers, to be cousins, and come out here and enjoy ourselves with them."

The Cincinnati Police Department is the only police agency in the area to host a camp like this. They hope other agencies will join them next year.