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Police camp gives kids new perspective about officers

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- A penny of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s the simple idea behind the Commerce City Police Camp for kids.

Forty-six kids, ranging from 11 to 15 years old, are staying four days and three nights at the Mt. Evans Outdoor Lab in Jefferson County to see  firsthand how police officers earn their pay.

They're getting a look at things from demonstrations by the K-9 Unit, to accident investigations, crime scene processing, riot control and crime scene investigation.

It's all designed to show how and what police officers do on a daily basis. “It’s important to us to engage with the youth in our community so they can see us as real people and not characters on TV or characters on the Internet.”

Empathy goes a long way, one camp goer said. “Everybody thinks police officers are big bad guys but when you start learning how they work, they’re really just trying to help people.” And cop camp is pretty fun, too. Twenty-six out of the 46 campers are repeat customers.

And at the end of the day, Sgt. Rentfrow from the Commerce City Police Youth Services said, “…is just that we can walk away and the kids know who we are.”

Mission accomplished.

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