Behind the Badge: Law enforcement agencies team up for annual youth camp

COLUMBUS, Ind -- First responders from a half dozen agencies are coming together to influence young lives in Bartholomew County.

This week, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is hosting their annual youth academy.

This will be the department’s third year hosting.

“These kids get to experience a lot in four days,” Chief Deputy Chris Lane said.

The academy is a week long experience featuring law enforcement agencies from across the area.

Kids interact with representatives from the Indiana State Police, the Department of Natural resources, local SWAT teams, Columbus Police and State Excise Police during the camp.

“For all the things we want the kids to experience its necessary for us to get all these departments together. We want them to have a positive experience with law enforcement in general,” State Police Sergeant Stephen Wheeles said.

During the camp kids get to work on skills like scuba diving, firing a weapon, rescue drills, and how to spot issues with domestic violence.  However Chris Lane says the experience is mostly about building positive relationships, and inspiring the potential future of law enforcement.

“If we can get that instilled in them then those are our future law enforcement officers, those are our future firemen, our future EMS,” he said.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Youth Academy is held every June. Signups for the camp usually open in March.

For more information on the youth academy, you can visit: http://www.ceraland.org/