Ngata charity awards $10K to Camp C.O.P.S.

Ngata charity awards $10K to Camp C.O.P.S.
Pictured from left: Josh Schamber, 11, Dalton Mount, 10, Logan Barrett, 11, and Tristan Wagner, 11, listen while Officer Tim Chrismer, of the Carroll County Sheriffs Office, teaches about the advancements in law enforcement technology, such as the License Plate Recognition device, during the Carroll County Camp C.O.P.S. July 16. (Wiley Hayes, Staff Photo)

Carroll County's annual Camp C.O.P.S. program caught the eye of Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata over the summer, and the camp is now $10,000 richer as a result.

The camp, entering its 17th year, was awarded $10,000 by the Haloti Ngata Family Foundation at the organization's charity luau Monday.


Education was the theme for this year's donations, according to foundation board member Miles Goodman, and Ngata is a supporter of law enforcement and a Carroll County resident.

"He really appreciates what the Carroll County police do," he said. "He's a fan of law enforcement."

Foundation volunteers scoured the Internet for possible organizations to fund, Goodman said, and with education and law enforcement in mind, they found Camp C.O.P.S., which stands for Courage to be Outstanding with Pride and Self-Confidence.

The camp is a weeklong joint effort by the sheriff's office, Westminster Police Department, Maryland State Police Westminster Barrack and Taneytown Police Department held each summer for middle school students.

Camp C.O.P.S. emphasizes self-discipline and teamwork, which Goodman said appealed to Ngata as a football player because they are similar to his values on the field.

Deputy Worthy Washington of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office said the foundation contacted him over the summer and asked for more information about the program. Several weeks ago he learned the camp would receive one of the foundation's awards.

To the camp's organizers, the money provides a number of options and guarantees that if other funding falls through, Camp C.O.P.S. will still be around for the next several years, according to Sgt. Keith Benfer of the Westminster Police Department.

"We're just overwhelmed," Benfer said. "Right now, I have no idea what I'm going to use [the money] for."

After originally being told the camp was awarded $5,000, Washington said he and Benfer learned on the night of the luau that they would receive $10,000. Benfer said there are no stipulations for when or how Camp C.O.P.S. must spend the award, which creates a good safety net for the program.

"We'll be able to use that for a couple of years here, maybe," Washington said.

Goodman said the luau fundraiser itself was so successful the foundation decided to increase its award to Camp C.O.P.S.

The money will be used to purchase items needed to run the program, which includes equipment and activities, as well as shirts, hats and water bottles for the campers, who paid only $10 this summer to participate, according to Washington.

The camp is driven by donations and volunteers, Washington said.

"It takes everybody in the community to make it happen," he said.


Benfer said it was nice to be recognized outside of the county for the work Camp C.O.P.S. organizers do.

Washington said Ngata and the foundation are "very gracious" and really believe in what they are doing.

The Maryland School for the Blind and the Green Mount School also received $10,000 awards. Additionally, nine teachers around the state received $1,000 for various projects and classroom improvements.

Reach staff writer Heather Cobun at 410-857-7898 or email