Camp forges bond between children, deputies

Annual Ride with Pride informs youth about law enforcement
By: Alex Mecredy Journal correspondent
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The 19th Annual Ride with Pride camp for local children is bringing law enforcement and young people together in the community. The five-day program offered by the Placer County Sheriff?s Office brings in a new group of children each day between the ages of 7 and 12 to learn about horses, search and rescue teams and police trained K-9s. One of the men who originally started the camp, Lt. Kevin Borden, patrol watch commissioner, said he started the program to ?find something to bridge the gap between kids and law enforcement.? The camp is held at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn where the children circulate from three different stations before lunch. During lunch, the children will have time to talk to the deputies and volunteers and ask them questions about law enforcement. ?We wanted to make the kids feel more comfortable with law enforcement. We have hobbies just like they do,? Borden said. Day-campers then proceed to watch a K-9 demonstration. The demonstration shows the children the breeds of dogs that law enforcement officers primarily use and how they would attack a ?bad guy? who is not cooperating. To experience the lifestyle of the horses, children go on a ride in the horse trailers. Although the difference in size is drastic, they get a feel for the way a horse is transported. Next the campers are able to see how the horses are trained with crowd control. Those at the camp will push around a large round ball and the horse demonstrates how it moves the ball away when a crowd gets out of control. ?It?s about the horses and safety and how law enforcement uses horses as a tool to accomplish tasks,? Borden said. One of the children attending the camp, Jacee Winkler, 7, said she enjoyed spending time with the horses and learning how to work with them. ?I think because we got to sit on horses and we got to pet them,? Winkler said. ?My favorite part is getting to learn all of the body parts of the horses.? Nine-year-old Hayden Erkenbrecher talked about learning about the search and rescue teams. ?We learned the people who help find other people wear bright orange shirts so the people they are finding can see them from far away,? Erkenbrecher said. The program is free of charge to the children who sign up and the camp runs based off donations and sponsors. Borden said one of the main sponsors of this year?s camp was Diamond Pacific. Overall, Borden wants to see a connection among the animals, deputies and children in the community. Borden said he wants the children to take away from the camp that ?Deputy sheriff?s and law enforcement personnel are your friend and are here to help you when in need. The horses have helped to instill that message in the kids.?