Victoria Police hold youth camp for middle school students

The Victoria Police Department’s Youth Camp is teaching middle schoolers the art of being a first responder.

“It’s our first year to do a VPD youth camp that one of our officers wanted to really bring to our organization,” says Capt. Eline Moya, VPD. “So Officer Felan came up with this idea, so we can connect with our youth.”

Officer Felan along with other VPD officers taught the students about law enforcement.

“Of course we started with Stop The Bleed exercises, next we moved to handcuffing, and tomorrow we will go into target practice and also have gun safety classes,” Officer Joseph Felan explains. “On Wednesday we will have SWAT Training and movements of entering a building and then Thursday, we will do our patrol aspect like traffic stops”

I asked some students why they came to the camp and what they hope to get out of it.

“I wanted to see the people behind the badge and I want to see what they do and learn about it,” tells James Ybarbo, Stroman Middle School student. “I’m kind of nervous but I also feel really excited to learn about all of this stuff.

“I wanted to do stuff that involves cops and EMS and I figured this would be a perfect opportunity,” said Jordyn Diaz, Patti Welder student. I want to learn how to save lives and how I could search houses and stuff like that and its fun.”

One of the interactive activities is they are teaching students how to handcuff.

I tried it myself, and I found out handcuffing is way harder thank it looks!

The campers did a great job learning how to handcuff people. Captain Moya hopes this camp bridges the gap between police officers and the community.

“I hope that any interactions with the students is a positive one and that they know that we are here for them, and we can build these life long relationships,” declares Capt Moya. I really hope its something that they can always look back on as a positive interaction and build on that.”

“We are enjoying ourselves, its great to interact with the kids in Victoria and hopefully be a positive influence,” smiles Felan.

The police department hopes this middle school group will move on to the high school Police Explorers program in the future.