The Indiana Sheriff’s Association aims to improve relations between law enforcement and the local at-risk youth by expanding its summer leadership camps.
Curriculum will include personal safety, substance abuse education, and hands-on defense demonstrations by current officers.
Interim Executive Director Scott Minier says it’s important officers bond with the teenagers, and he hopes the camps will spur future recruitment.
“We hope that in the case of the future law enforcement officers, that we’re able to mentor them so that they get some idea of what it’s like to have a career in public safety,” he says.
After years of renting temporary venues, the Sheriff’s Association is relocating the summer camps to a newly purchased youth ranch in Southern Indiana. The new, permanent facility will allow for lengthier programs and an increase in overall participation.
In addition to participating in recreational activities, Minier says the children will be learning life skills.
“The at-risk kids are going to be learning about everything from personal safety, first aid, to bullying, cyber-crime, financial fraud…” he says.
Excavation and building at the new location is set to begin in the fall.