BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – Nearly 90 children are building a bond this week at Cop Camp, organized by the Bedford Police Department.
“Being that we’re at work, we don’t get to interact as much as we’d like to and build those relationships and build those gaps; so that’s why we do Cop Camp,” said Officer Urshulla Meade.
While it’s all about having fun, the goal is to reach out to the community.
“[Being here] will really change the way you think because you’re seeing how they are, not necessarily when they’re on their job,” said Nathanial Rucker, a 13-year-old camper.
Campers are participating in a variety of outdoor activities, like obstacle courses and dodgeball and they attend a presentation each day from different law enforcement agencies.
The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office showed off its K-9 unit Monday.
“It’s just fun to know how [law enforcement] all works,” said Jesse Biliter, a 12-year-old camper.
Bedford police are partnering with Thomas Road Outpost. They were forced to cancel last year’s camp because of COVID-19.
“I think it was hard for everyone. It really hurt us a lot because in COVID, we couldn’t have that interaction that we strive to have with the local community, with communities around us,” said William Robertson, a staff member at Thomas Road Outpost.
Biliter believes the interaction is just as important.
“It’s important to connect with the community, with the police officers that protect and serve the community.”