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Las Cruces Police youth summer camp inspires future generation of law enforcement


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- The Las Cruces Police Department, in collaboration with the Army National Guard and the NMSU College of Arts and Sciences, hosted its annual summer youth camp this week. The camp, running for nearly a decade, is a five-day program, jam-packed with diverse activities and presentations.

"We've been running this camp for about eight [years] now," said a Las Cruces Police Department spokesperson, Jason Sauceda. "For the last three to four years, the Army National Guard has collaborated with us, bringing their helicopter and soldiers to help us."

The camp's activities range from athletic events, E-Sports tournaments, to drug presentations on fentanyl given by the National Guard. The police department also provides a DWI presentation.

Local businesses, including Lorenzo's and Indio, provide meals for the participants. The College of Arts and Sciences funds the camp, enabling it to remain free for all attendees.

"We try to cater to most kids," the spokesperson said. "And the majority of them, once they attend for the first time, they come back until they age out. Some of them even end up as volunteers."

The program aims to offer youth a view of law enforcement and the military that goes beyond the standard narrative.

"For these kids to interact with us on a different level, without our uniform, they get to see that we're human, just like them. They can then go out into the community and let others know that there are good police officers out there," the LCPD spokesperson added.

Participants had glowing reviews about their experiences. Evan, a returning attendee, said, "This is my second year, and I'm familiar with all the school resource officers here. It's been really fun. This is my favorite camp. I recommend it to kids who want to go into law enforcement."

The Las Cruces Police Youth Summer Camp continues to serve as an innovative community outreach initiative, fostering a positive relationship between the police force and the community's young members.

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