CINCINNATI (Angela Ingram) - An annual summer camp for city kids is a lot cheaper this year. Cincinnati police are using assets and cash seized from drug dealers to help foot the bill so that more children can go to camp.
Fresh air and plenty of outdoor activities are just part of Camp Joy. Ask a child who has been to the Clarksville overnight camp and they'll tell you, they had a blast.
12-year-old Kalyce Ivery went last year and she is going again this year. "The activities were really fun, like you got to swim and you got to do the climbing and when you went back to your cabin you would have to play games," said Kalyce.
The camp is a week-long live-in experience with Cincinnati police. Officers mentor the kids and help build relationships and character. Officer Chip Todd has volunteered at the camp for 10 years. He said, "Camp Joy provides a wide arrangement of opportunities for us to encourage, to build in, to teach, to be taught, to have fun."
Monday afternoon, officers spoke with students at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, encouraging them to sign up. This is the 48th year that CPD has sponsored the camp. Normally, the cost is several hundred dollars, but this year it's only $25.00 per child. Police used community partnerships as well as money and assets seized from drug dealers to get the cost down so that more children will have a chance to go.
SCPA's principal Michael Owens went to the camp as a child. "We know that many of our students in our city are living below the poverty line and for the police department to really be able to offset this for them is just immensely important," Owens said.
The officers are building bridges with children who they serve in the community and teaching life-long lessons. Kalyce said, "They were really inspiring. You could make someone want to grow up and be a police officer. Like they said upstairs, they don't just arrest people. They try to make people's lives better."
Police are recruiting children from the city ages 10 through 12. There is an informational meeting for parents this Wednesday at 6:30pm. It will be at the Carl Lindner YMCA located at 1425 Linn Street, Cincinnati 45214. The camp runs from June 13th - June 17th.