Police camp gets into the real work of law enforcement

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By GARTH SNOW
gsnow@kpcmedia.com

Thursday was the fun part, according to Fort Wayne Police Sgt. Jim Seay.

On behalf of the Community Relations Division, Seay and school resource officers led 15 police summer campers in grades 5 to 8 through an “investigation” among the scale-model buildings of Safety Village next-door to the city police academy behind Southtown Crossing.

Campers questioned Little Red Hoody’s “mother” about Little Red’s disappearance. They asked when she last saw Little Red, what Little Red was wearing, whether she was carrying her cell phone. They asked whether there had been any strife in the family. They confirmed their description: age, gender, race. They looked for clues among the buildings. They even checked to see whether a frightened Little Red might be hiding beneath the bed in the brick house.

That was Thursday, the fourth day of camp.

Friday would be the work day — paperwork, reports and process, Seay said.

Police work isn’t like it’s portrayed in the movies and on TV, Seay said.

“It isn’t just handcuff someone and move on to the next adventure,” he said.

Seay said the camp is in its fifth year. Youngsters enroll through The Bridge of Grace Church or the Boys & Girls Club.

It’s too soon for the program to have guided anyone toward police careers, but Seay said one student attended all four years of her eligibility until she reached the maximum age a year ago. She also enlisted several of her friends, he said.

Fort Wayne tries to be on the cutting edge of such community programs, Seay said.