Delaware News

Basketball camp connects kids, Delaware officers

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Delaware police officers are ready to take kids to court this summer.

The basketball court, to be more specific.

The department opened registration last week for the second Delaware Police Department Basketball Camp. The free, three-day clinic will be held from 9 a.m. to noon July 21-23 at Branch Rickey Arena on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus.

The camp, created last year by officer Sean Franks, offered lessons from officers to 30 students. This year, the department will offer the camp to the first 40 boys and girls entering fifth or sixth grade who enroll.

Police spokesman Capt. Adam Moore said the department viewed the 2013 camp as a successful community outreach event.

"It was an absolute success," he said. "The kids had a great time. We got a lot of good feedback from the parents."

Moore said the camp is a "win-win" for the department and the children. The officers get a chance for positive interactions with the young residents they serve, and the children get a good experience and new skills, he said.

"(The children) realize, hey, these coaches are pretty nice guys, and they also happen to be police officers," he said.

Moore said the camp is limited to 40 students so each student can receive individual instruction from the officers. He said the camp had a waiting list last year and is expected to fill up quickly this year.

The officers will offer instruction in offensive footwork, defensive techniques and shooting, among other skills, during the camp.

Moore said while the focus will be on teaching the fundamentals of the game, the officers may find the time to offer advice on how to stay on the straight and narrow.

"As you go through the coaching process, sometimes ... (opportunities for) those life lessons present themselves," he said.

The annual basketball camp may not be the only opportunity for students to get athletic instruction from officers this year. Moore said the department has offered martial arts clinics in the past and may conduct a football camp for area children in the fall.

A registration form for the camp is available at delawareohio.net/UserUploads/HoopCampregister2014.pdf.

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