The Oxford Police Department is hosting its first-ever Camp COPS which is an instructional camp that teaches valuable community skills to 10 to 14-year-olds.
Oxford police department’s Captain Alan Ivy said the campers are currently wrapping up their third week out of the four-weeks-long camp.
He said, “They do it at the Oxford Intermediate School. The instructors are made up of the student resource officers. I think we’re up to 40 kids now. We have activities planned for every day.”
The camp is from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The students have had motivational speakers come in along with nurses, dentists, Ole Miss football players and even Coach Hugh Freeze is scheduled to talk to the campers soon.
This is the first year that the camp has taken place. The inspiration was brought about by the camp taking place by an officer that used to work in Olive Branch where there was a police camp for the young people. After hearing this officer’s idea, Oxford police department then went to Olive Branch to observe what the camp did before deciding to bring the camp to the city.
Ivy said the camp consists mostly of student resource officers since they will be around the children the most.
“They work with these kids in the school year. It gives them a purpose for the summer,” said Ivy.
The students have learned police academy disciplines such as formations and marching. Oxford police officers hope that the campers will be in good enough shape to eventually march to the City Hall for a tour and to meet with Mayor Pat Patterson.
Although the inaugural camp is currently four weeks long, Ivy said that by next summer the police department may cut it into two-week camps to have more young people participating.
Oxford police department’s goal with Camp COPS is to strengthen the community bond with young people that the police officers may not have a proper chance to meet and work with.
“It doesn’t take long to build a bond with a kid,” Ivy said. “The school resource officers can continue the bond throughout the year. It works well for everybody. It’s been a good experience.”
Collin Brister is a staff writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.