AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is starting a program that will get kids off of the streets and possibly out of trouble this summer– The Youth Citizen’s Police Academy may be that answer.
The Youth Citizen’s Police Academy is a 5-day camp for Richmond County High School students. Much like the Citizen’s Police Academy for adults, this program will show kids what it’s like to work in law enforcement.
And those kids will hear first hand what it’s like to lose someone close to you because of gun violence.
“I had two kids and now I only have one. My oldest son was murdered ten years ago,” Von Daniels said. She works as a Richmond County Sheriff’s Assistant and is the founder of Angel Heart, a group for mothers of murder victims. Daniel’s son was shot in the head by a 17 year-old while he was on the way to work.
“Every crime that’s committed, especially a murder, doesn’t just affect the parent or the siblings. It affects the whole community,” Daniels said.
And investigators said this first-ever Youth Citizen’s Police Academy is happening at the perfect time. With summertime approaching, kids are out of school, and many can be found walking the streets, which for some, can lead to trouble. Lieutenant Rollins said youth crime is expected to rise in the summer months.”
“Idle hands are the devil’s playground, and in the summertime when they don’t have something to do, the mischievousness goes way up, and sometimes that mischievousness turns into something else,” Lt. Allan Rollins with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said.
He hopes this program will not only keep kids out of trouble, but also develop a newfound appreciation for law enforcement. Gun violence is such a widespread problem, so he said that will be the main focus.
“This is going to cover a wide variety of things between emergency responses, 9-11 dispatch. We’re going to do S.W.A.T. and K-9 demonstrations. They’re going to basically get to know what police officers do,” Lt. Rollins said.
“It’s a good program. I think there should be more of them. It could save a child’s life,” Daniels said.
To find out if your child is qualified to be part of this academy and to sign up, call Community Services Division (706) 261-0436 or email Octavia Crawford at OCrawford@augustaga.gov.