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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Hanging out with police may not seem like a kid's idea of a fun summer break, but through two free programs, many teens are also learning valuable skills.
This is LMPD's first year offering a summer camp, and young people are enjoying the different opportunities during the three-week program held at The Olmsted Academy North School on Bellevue Avenue. Friday, the kids hovered around Lieutenant Brent Routzahn, a member of LMPD's SWAT team, as he showed them much of his gear.
He is just one of several guests for the LMPD summer camp. Some kids will admit they were not thrilled when there parents told them they were enrolling in the camp. "I didn't really want to go but when I got here all we did was have fun," said Jonathan Dooley, a participant. "We play a lot of sports, working on teamwork and stuff," he added.
60 kids ages 10 to 17 spend three weeks at camp, doing anything from playing sports to checking out SWAT gear.
Plans were already in the works for the camp during a string of deadly shootings in west Louisville, but the violence made the need for the camp more urgent. "We felt like it was a good time with things that have been going on in the community to get the police involved with the youth in the community," said LMPD Officer Charles Jones, a counselor at the camp, and former U of L and NBA player.
Another LMPD program teaches youngsters about law enforcement -- the Youth Citizens Police Academy, held at Quinn Chapel on Muhammad Ali Boulevard.
This is Stephanie Del Toro's third year in the program. "I'm actually the platoon commander this year, which I never would've done when I first started," said Del Toro.
After ten days of hard training, even becoming CPR certified, Chief of Police Steve Conrad congratulated each one as they graduated the program.
The programs are being offered again in July.
LMPD Youth Citizens Police Academy Community Missionary Baptist Church 4909 E Indian Trail, Louisville, KY July 9-July 20th 2012 9:00AM-3:00PM FREE AGES: 14-17 years old Contact: Lt. Andrea Brown Andrea.Brown@louisvilleky.gov