A popular policing program put on by the Greater Victoria Police Foundation aimed at young people is back in Greater Victoria.
“Police Camp is a leadership program focusing on public and community safety skills,” said Const. Terri Healy, spokesperson for the Victoria Police Department.
It’s a partnership among community groups, and municipal policing forces in the region.
Its focus is on building relationships in the community, particularly among young people, according to Victoria Police Chief Del Manak.
“The police agencies are always looking at efforts that we can make to engage with youth, and make sure that we are building a brighter future, that we’re connecting with youth, being positive role models as a result of the foundation that we’ve put together,” Manak said.
Kenyon Lee is a Grade 12 student at Lambrick Park Secondary School who took part in the 2023 Police Camp.
“It was so great to just be a part of the community. I’ve never felt so much support,” Lee said.
For eight days at Work Pont, the students took part in exercises, developing skills necessary for the job as a police officer.
“I do believe building these positive relationships as a kid is very important for people to learn growing up, and going down the road, to make good choices,” Lee said.
In addition to Police Camp, the organization also plans to work with the community offering things like mentorship programs for youth and a scholarship program offered through Camosun College.
Manak says the programs offered by the GVPF are more important than ever with the cancellation of the school police officer liaison program, six years after VicPD cut funding for the program.
“I think that given SD 61’s decision, this launch of the Greater Victoria Police Foundation is actually even more important, and allows police to make those important connections, and these connections last a lifetime,” Manak said.
The camp is open to students in Grade 11 and 12, and those interested in policing, and public safety.