Roanoke Cop Camp teaches kids to be police, builds relationships

Local News

These kids are getting the 4-1-1 on what it’s like to be a Roanoke Police Officer. 

But as much as the kids are learning from the cops, it’s also about creating positive experiences with law enforcement. 

Usually the  sound of s siren and those flashing lights, can only mean one thing. 

“Quite often when we interact with children, it’s because we are at their home or in their neighborhood because something bad has happened,” said Lt. Jennings Tardy with the Roanoke Police Department.

But not today as these kids enjoy time at the 2nd annual Cop Camp at William Flemming High School in Roanoke. 

“I’m not walking around in a uniform, I don’t have a gun belt on and yet I’m the same person if I were in uniform. I think it just let’s them see us hopefully in a different light and realize that we aren’t bad people,” said Lt. Jennings Tardy with the Roanoke Police Department.

“Very friendly. They always want to make sure you have a good time,” said Deandre Freeman, camper.

Campers got to experience first hand what it’s like to be an investigator looking for DNA. 

“First he introduces you to how they do it and all that. Then you stick your fingerprints onto this paper and you use like a black, like a magnet brush with powder to reveal your fingerprints and basically shows how a person reveals the fingerprints as a cop,” said Deandre Freeman, camper.

But police hope the kids learn a deeper lesson through these activities. 

“If something should happen to them, we want them to not be afraid of us. We want them to know that they can contact us and we will help them,” said Lt. Jennings Tardy with the Roanoke Police Department.

“Creates a big bond between us, i mean they are teaching us stuff that i didn’t know,” said Ashley Lopez, Camper.

And maybe even find some new recruits.

“It’s something that i’ve always wanted to do since i was little, be an officer,” said Ashley Lopez, Camper.

So when these kids see the cars and hear the sirens,  they know not to be afraid. 

“We see these cops around the city and stuff, and just know that they’re protecting us. It’s just great to have that bond with them,” said Nevaeh Lambert, camper.

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