BERRIEN SPRINGS — Addison and Lillian Zizkovsky spent the last two days learning the ins and outs of law enforcement.
Addison, 12, and Lillian, 10, were among 22 students who took part in the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department’s Kids Camp on Thursday and Friday at the fairgrounds in Berrien Springs.
Led by Deputy Vanessa Williams, the Kids Camp is in its 13th year, in which several departments and agencies teach participants about safety, and about the day in and day out lives of police officers, firefighters and emergency responders.
“Basically, it’s about teaching kids safety tips,” Williams said. “We like to use police officers and people who have experience in public safety.”
This year, the presentations and demonstrations included dispatchers teaching kids what to say when calling 911, firefighters teaching safety tips, as well as navigating a makeshift obstacle course.
On Thursday, police officers from Bridgman, Buchanan and St. Joseph made a few presentations and allowed kids to sit in a patrol car. Williams said they try to add different aspects to the camp every year, from bringing in the mounted division to hosting a motorcycle unit.
The two-day camp included hands-on demos with an ambulance, plus a helicopter touching down.
Berrien County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Taylor and Mr. Weeber, a black lab that is part of the Canine Advocacy Program, made an appearance Friday.
Williams has been working with the camp for the past three years and said she enjoys how the camp impacts the kids.
The nearly two dozen students taking part in the camp Thursday and Friday are in the fourth and fifth grade, from across the county.
The proceeds from the Kids Camp go toward Explorer Post 602, which is made up of 14- and 15-year-olds who are interested in law enforcement.
Addison and Lillian took part in last year’s camp, but wanted to return to find out more.
“My favorite part was meeting all the police officers and learning about safety,” Lillian said.
Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski