- Sponsorship -

Cops and campers bond over cool summer experiences

Fifth-grader Alexis Lavallee decided she may become a police officer after meeting Jesse, one of 12 horses assigned to the Kent County Sheriff’s Department Mounted Patrol unit.

Fifth grader Alexis Lavallee gets to know Jesse, one of the horses in the Kent County Sheriff’s Department’s Mounted Patrol Unit

“I’d more than love to work with her,” said Alexis, one of about 45 fourth and fifth graders who attended a week-long “Camp CP With A Deputy”, sponsored by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department in June.

Jesse, a 20-year-old chestnut gelding, was a popular camp attraction.

Ritzey, part of the Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 unit, also was a go-to guest as Deputy Dale DeKorte allowed children to pet the dog, who is trained to sniff out accelerants and ignitable materials in arson investigations.

Public appearances at schools and community functions are also a large part of Ritzey’s schedule. “She loves it,” DeKorte said as campers cuddled and petted the accommodating canine.

Campers at the ‘Camp CP With A Deputy’ get to know Kent County Sheriff’s Deputy Dale DeKorte and Ritzey, the arson dog

Throughout the week, activities also included show-and-tell demonstrations from the department’s Dive Team and Tactical Team, both of which showed off their equipment. The emergency medical, motorcycle and marine division visited and, deputies took campers to Craig’s Cruisers.

Thanks to donations from the Rotary Club, Community Policing of Michigan and area businesses, each camper received a T-shirt, water bottle and midday meals.

Deputy Julie Brown, Comstock Park High School school resource officer, said they organized the camp in hopes of forging a bond with campers at an early age. This marked the first time the department hosted one for elementary school children, she said.

“We want them to see us as normal folks and we’re able to see them as normal kids,” she said. “Sometimes, we only see the naughty kids.”

- Sponsorship -
James Harger
James Harger
James Harger left School News Network in January of 2020. James previously reported on West Michigan's economy, courts and politics for The Grand Rapids Press and Mlive.com for more than 37 years. He also is employed as Servanthood Leader at Immanuel Lutheran Church in downtown Grand Rapids. A graduate of Central Michigan University, he also has worked for publications in Holland, Mount Pleasant and Lansing. He is married to Lisa and has one daughter, who lives in Ann Arbor.


The year of learning differently

SNN asked a sampling of students from across the county how it’s going for them so far in a school year of multiple instruction models...

‘I want it to look happy’

With help from generous donors, elementary teachers worked to make welcoming, kid-friendly space while following the rules of social distancing and sanitation...

New VP says ‘It feels like joining a family’

Aaron Romoslawski is the new vice principal of Sparta High School. He takes over for Stacey Rumsey, who was named Sparta High School principal last spring...

The changing of guard – as long-time educator and AD welcomes a new one

Godwin Heights Football Coach Brandon Kimble will take over as the district’s athletic director when Robert Hisey, dean of students and athletic director, officially retires Nov. 2...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Student athletes glad football is back, after trying other sports

Some student athletes briefly competed in other sports, such as tennis and cross country, after fall football was canceled. Now they’re happy to be back on the gridiron...

In class, online, both? Parents, students wrestle with choices

Students, parents, teachers and others share their feelings about the start of this school year...

Comstock Park offers hybrid or all virtual options

After surveying the community, the district settled on a hybrid option: Students will be divided into two groups and attend school on Monday-Tuesday or Thursday-Friday...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU