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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Growing Community at Franklin Police Leadership Camp

Shown is the K9 Unit demonstration from last year’s Franklin Police Leadership Camp, which will welcome 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from July 15-19 this year.

By J.D. O’Gara

Franklin Police Leadership Camp continues this year, from July 15th-19th, 2024, set to create a unique camp experience for kids going into 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. 

“The goal of the camp is to create a fun experience for the children, but also to show the kids that we’re just normal people and build some relationships and break down some barriers with it,” says Officer Amanda Ayer, one of Franklin’s School Resource Officers (SRO’s) and one of the officers in the Community Service Unit (CSU).

Campers, she says, get an insight into policing and the different units, says Ayers, who adds Police Camp wouldn’t be a success without all the input from the whole department.

“We really get a lot of involvement from everyone, not just the CSU, and that’s really why we can do it. That helps creates bonds within all the departments.” The children, she says, also learn “that’s another face. Oh, I know who that is. I can ask for help from them.”

Police Department members in addition to the CSU who take part include the Patrol Division, who will teach about traffic stops, the Detective Unit, which teaches fingerprinting, and the Canine Unit and Drone officer, who come to the camp to do demonstrations. 

Ayer explains the campers “can come together as a community themselves and learn more respect, discipline, and leadership skills together. Some of these kids have known each other for years, some just changed to middle school, so (camp) is an opportunity for them to engage with each other and build a community that’s town wide, not just schoolwide. It connects them to all the middle schoolers in town.”

The camp will run Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thursday 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., and Friday, from 8 a.m.- 1 p.m., with a maximum number of campers set at 75. The $175 cost for the camp covers its expenses.

Each day begins with physical exercise, strength training and conditioning, team building exercises, field games and drilling ceremonies. Different days of the week have scheduled events that focus on team building and leadership, and on Thursday, the group will take a field trip to Water Wizz. On the final day, campers welcome their families to the fun with a graduation ceremony and barbecue.

Last year, Franklin Police created awards for campers, with awards recognizing those participants who showed the most discipline or dedication as campers, for example. 

“We take note of the kids the whole week,” says Ayer, adding awards not only recognize those who win games or are most visible, but include “happiest camper,” and “best attitude” among them.  

In addition to learning about the different facets of policing, campers learn Drill and Ceremony, (D&C). On the final day, with families present, the campers are given shirts, and they assemble into formation and march into their graduation.

“You see the difference from day one, when you’re teaching them, when they’re not sure how to get in the right spot, and then, at the end, where they know where to go and are helping each other get where they need to be. It’s fun to see,” says Ayer. She adds that the camp enhances her mission as an SRO and as part of the CSU.

“Now, when I go to other schools to cover something, I have kids coming up to me that know me. It’s great to see that I can continue to affect kids in multiple schools and know we are a good and helpful presence for them,” she says.

For more information on Franklin Police Leadership Camp, visit the town website at, or scan the QR code accompanying this article.