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'Respect for Law' camp helping shape tomorrow's police officers

Posted at 6:38 AM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 07:46:01-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Kids throughout Fort Myers get a chance to learn what it’s like to be a police officer.

It's called Respect for Law Camp.

"The easiest way to describe it would be four days and three nights of a condensed police academy.”

For the first time since 2019, the Fort Myers Police Department is getting ready for their Respect for Law Camp.

“All kids want to be police officers or firefighters when they grow up, right?" says Officer Keron Ramjattan, Community Relations Unit with the Fort Myers Police Department. "So, it gives them that little taste of what we do and can encourage them to move on further to pursue their goals if they want to be a first responder.”

The camp itself has been going on for 31 years. Putting kids thru a string of scenarios and training regimens.

"K-9 scenarios, SWAT scenarios, they get to do taser classes- all the stuff a police officer would do," Ramjattan says. "The kids from 11-14 ages get to experience that, as well as having fun and playing dodgeball and tug of war and all that good stuff.”

After a two-year hiatus because of the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers say now is as good a time as any to have the camp.

"Camps like this specifically are set for the kids and parents to bridge that gap between police and kids so they look up to us as not someone to be afraid of or what not. We’re friends, we work in the community just like your local garbage guy or the mail carrier. We’re all the same we just do a different job and we’re just trying to bridge that gap and intertwine ourselves in that community just like everyone else.”

The camp may only run for a few days but seeing the impact it has on its campers is pretty significant. Something Officer Ramjattan says always impresses him.

"To show how the kids go from being a little loose knit to being a little more disciplined at the end of the camp. It’s great to see that transition throughout the days of how the kids perform.”

And there’s still time to register. You can find more information online right here.