Campers go through law enforcement training

Thirteen-year-old Bryan Flutka didn't know what he was being called for Tuesday afternoon when Deputy State Fire Marshal Matt Wrenn, of the Office of the State Fire Marshal bomb squad, picked him out of the group.
"I didn't know what to expect," Flutka said.
A few moments later Flutka was inside an 85-pound bomb suit for a demonstration of the equipment used by bomb technicians.
The suit is made with seven layers of Kevlar and protects against heat, fire and fragments in the event of an explosion, and makes it extremely difficult to concentrate, Wrenn said.
"Now I know what everyone in the bomb squad feels like," Flutka said.
The display was part of the week-long Camp C.O.P.S. being held at the Carroll County Farm Museum.
The camp is a joint effort of the Westminster Police Department, Maryland State Police, Carroll County Sheriff's Office and Taneytown Police Department and stands for Courage to be Outstanding with Pride and Self-confidence.
The camp teaches the children different law enforcement techniques, including military, police, fire and EMS training.
Sgt. Keith Benfer, of the Westminster Police Department, said the camp offers children a chance to see police in a positive, friendly manner.
"Most of the time they see us is in a family altercation or something going wrong," he said. "This is a way we can show them that we're truly human."
On Tuesday, the campers rotated through events put on by the fire marshal's office, emergency medical services, ROTC and a simulated drunk driving course.
Each camper had the opportunity to wear goggles that mimic the effects of alcohol and ride through a course with a golf cart.
"I ran over almost every cone," 11-year-old Brady Sipes said.
The course was tough because the cones look like they're on one side, when in reality they're on the other, Brady said.
He learned to never drink and drive, he said.
Twelve-year-old Aidan Sporer fared a little better driving through the course. He only hit six of the 23 cones, he said.
"When you put the goggles on everything shifts," Aidan said. "It just really makes it hard."
More than 90 middle school-aged children broken into four teams are participating in the camp. The camp will culminate in a graduation ceremony Friday, along with a competition for the Camp C.O.P.S. Cup.
The final day of camp will also include major demonstrations, including state police helicopters, SWAT trucks and K-9 teams.
The camp has been put on by local law enforcement agencies for more than 15 years, according to Cpl. Worthy Washington, of the sheriff's office.

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