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Camp lets kids get up close to law enforcement
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Deputy Aaron Conaway and K-9 Rocco demonstrate law enforcement techniques for Kids Camp attendees Saturday morning. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

For 11 years, the Barton County Sheriff’s Office Reserve has held Kids’ Camp at the Barton County Sheriff’s Office Range and Training Facility.  On Sept. 14, kids ages 8-14 arrived early for a day of positive interaction with law enforcement and emergency service personnel.  

The kids were greeted by Sheriff Bellendir and several of his deputies.
“Some of the kids attending have an interest in law enforcement careers and some do not,” he said.  “We hope for those who do, this experience spurs them along in their choice of career, whether that is as an officer, a lawyer, or one of the other helping professions like EMTs.”

There were demonstrations by Deputy Aaron Conaway and K-9 Rocco, The Crisis Response Team lead by Sgts. Lloyd Lewis and David Smith, a tour of the BEAST (Barton County Emergency Assistance Sheriff’s Truck), and some of the equipment used in crime scene investigations and CRT entries.  The kids also got to witness a Lifeteam helicopter landing and interact with the life team crew.   

The Reserve Unit holds Kid Camp once a year and encourages anyone with kids 8-14 to watch for next year’s event.  Information can be found on the Barton County Sheriff’s Office facebook page.  

The Barton County Sheriff’s Reserve is a non-profit organization, under the authority of the Sheriff’s Office that assists the deputies and the Sheriff with special assignments, shift coverage, patrol and detention duties, trials, security obligations.  The nearly 25 Reserves are all voluntary and non- commissioned.  They are made up of people from all walks of life in the community, Bellendir said.  Some are retirees, former law enforcement, and even a pilot, each with different specialties.   The Reserves currently have a couple openings. For those interested in becoming a Reserve Sheriff Deputy, applications can be obtained at All applicants must have a clean criminal record, valid license and must be 21 years of age.