Jul 10, 2013 7:06 PM by Chris Welty

Sheriff's Office Helping Kids

Summertime often means lots of free time for students.

While some kids go to camps, others don't have that opportunity. The Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office is teaming up with the Boys and Girls Club to get more kids involved in positive activities.

It's common to see kids walking the streets of Marigny Circle. Captain Kip Judice says kids anywhere with lots of free time or little supervision can be mischievous.

"When you're in a rural area like this, it's really hard. the services from the government don't extend this far out because there isn't that critical of a need for it," said Judice.

The sheriff's department is helping get kids off the street, giving them better opportunities. They went door to door in Marigny Circle and the Ile de Cannes neighborhood, encouraging parents to enroll their kids in the Boys and Girls Club.

"The sooner you can help these youngsters in these environments, the sooner you can have an impact on them. It doesn't allow them to get into the criminal justice system which is a vicious cycle," said Judice.

Kachata Thomas has three kids enrolled in the camp and believes it's a blessing. She says normally she wouldn't be able to afford this camp.

"They come back and say they did this with the teacher and I've seen some art projects. They're supposed to be going swimming and they're very excited about that."

Thomas has seen a change in the neighborhood kids.

"Most of the time they're out here fighting and since they've been going, they're coming together and are becoming friends," said Thomas.

Parents paid ten dollars each to enroll their kids. The sheriff's office contracted a bus to get the kids back and forth every day. Judice says the program has taken off and they hope to expand the service next summer.

Chris Welty



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