Blue Springs police hopes camp will help build connection with kids

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. — If you commit a crime, the police show up. That’s usually how things work.

The Blue Springs Police Department is trying to change the narrative, as it works to forge relationships with kids who are already on the right track.

The sound of a blown whistle, and the shaking of hands, the Blue Springs Police’s “Life Sports” Camp looks like a typical summer camp.

“It’s a lot of fun and I’ve met a lot of new kids. It’s been a blast,” Jake Gilbertson said.

“I like the sports we did. I’m a very big sports fan. I like to play a lot of sports,” David Parker said.

This camp is geared towards middle school aged boys, who wouldn’t normally have any interactions with police.

If a kid’s had any major disciplinary issues during the school year, they can’t attend.

“Bad kids get to see the cops. Maybe not in the way we want them to, but they do. I was a good kid growing up and I never talked to police officers. I didn’t not like them, but I didn’t really have a specific reason to like them,” Blue Springs Police Officer, Alex Smith said.

While the main draw is sports. The police are also teaching life skills.

They have speakers come daily, who talk about the importance of sportsmanship, character and teamwork.

“I just want to teach these kids that these games mean nothing. They take them so serious sometimes. It’s important that they learn to relax and have fun and be okay no matter what happens,” Smith said.

It’s only day two of camp and boys are already retaining lessons from police.

“I’ve learned that everything is about sportsmanship. Everyone’s having a lot of fun. Everyone’s trying to try their hardest to be the best they can be,” Gilbertson said.

This is the second year of this sports camp. Blue Springs police hope this program continues to grow.



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