Lockport Kids Are Getting Police Experience

August 13, 2010 Updated Aug 13, 2010 at 6:46 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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August 13, 2010 Updated Aug 13, 2010 at 6:46 PM EDT

LOCKPORT, NY (WKBW) -- The Lockport Police Academy and Housing Authority have been teaming up for more than a decade to reach out to local kids every year by spending time teaching them what officers do, while also mixing in some fun. "They are showing what they do and how they support our community and... I think it's really cool," one participant said.

"It's my first year here, having lots of fun," another kid said.

"Teaching them how to enter and exit buildings, how to search for people in the dark," Lieutenant Doug Haak, who is a coordinator, said. "We have a different relationship than most officers have with these kids and sometimes we talk to them when they are having some difficulties and make a difference."

"Show the kids a police dog," Steven Ritchie, a K-9 officer, said. "I think at any age to get that relation with the kids is important... get them to relate to police officers and see we are just like them."

The week wrapped up on Friday with an awards ceremony. The week long event is something officials say will continue for many years. "I think this is here to stay for a very long time," Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker said. "I think it has really become an important part of our city."