CPL. Lisa Cherry/ APD Summer Camp

Law Enforcement Awareness Program
by Kami Ashley

The Amarillo chapters of the NAACP and LULAC sponsors the yearly junior police camp,  CPL. Lisa Cherry/APD Summer Camp at the Amarillo Police Department.  Last year my brother Xavier and I, volunteered to be camp counselors to earn our community service hours for college. Xavier attended the camp in the summer of 2006 as a camper and he was chosen to come back last year and this year to help out and be a counselor. As soon as I found out he was going to do it I asked if I could be a camp counselor to earn my community service hours and I was in luck; I got to do it!

This camp was founded by the late Lisa Cherry to target the minority kids who live in the 79107 area, giving them a chance to see for themselves that the police are not their enemy and to give them something to do over the summer that will keep them out of trouble and drugs.

In one week they:

  • Tour the Police Department
  • Learn about all the EMS vehicles ( Medivac/Lifestar helicopter, Ambulance, Fire Truck, Bomb Squad)
  • Learn about the Bomb Robot
  • Learn about the Bike Patrol Unit and bicycle safety
  • Travel out to Boys Ranch to do ROPES challenge and ride horses
  • Gang Education
  • Learn and participate in Police Pursuit Driving, Radar Demonstration, and Police Motorcycles
  • Learn about the Dive Team
  • Drug Education
  • Learn about CSI
  • Participate in DUI simulation and Traffic Stops
  • SWAT Education

As last year was my first ever experience as a camp counselor, I can truly say that this camp is tons of fun and I myself learned a lot. I really think I had more fun than the kids did. And I will be doing it again this year! This camp is really great for the kids because at the end of the week they go home with a different perspective on the police and what they stand for and against. They are also encouraged to do the right thing and think about the consequences that go with their bad decisions.  Most of the 79107 area is involved in drugs and crime. So having this camp for the Minorities is a very good thing because even though they only spend a week under the influence of law enforcement, they learn a lot and take what they learn home to their families and to their friends.

This year there are only going to be 2 weeks work of camp, unfortunately.  Below are the persons in which you need to contact if you would like to volunteer or you know of a child who should or needs or would like to participate as soon as possible.

Srgt. Ronnie Taft ( Camp Coordinator)                                                     806-378-9439
Office Glenda Utsey ( Camp Coordinator)                                                806-326-3008
Officer Vern Wilson ( Sam Houston Liason)                                            806-326-3600
Officer Toby Garcia (Travis Liason)                                                          806-326-3800
Officers Mike Gallegos & Victor Del Fierro (Palo Duro Liason)            806-326-2400
Officer Don Sanders (Tascosa)                                                                  806-326-2600

Please note that this camp is only for MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS who are currently attending middle school!

Copyright 2010 – Kami Ashley. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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Kami Ashley