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Photo via NYPD 104th Precinct/Facebook

BY JASMINE PALMA

The 104th Precinct Youth Coordination Officers (YCO’s), along with the Greater Ridgewood Youth Counsel (GRYC), is hosting a Summer Get-Fit camp for kids between the ages of 10 and 16. Other precincts in Queens– the 109th, 111th and 114th precincts – are also hosting related camps.

The 104th Precinct’s program, which began July 6 and ends Aug. 21, takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Rosemary Park and I.S. 93. 

Activities include recreational sports, physical fitness, team building, self defense and obstacle courses among others. 

The bureau’s community affairs, as stated on the NYPD website, says the vision for these programs is to prevent drug abuse, decrease youth violence, champion child safety, and better the relationships between police and the youth, with “a special emphasis on at-risk individuals.”

The program is an initiative from the 104th Precinct’s youth coordinating officers, who are making a “big effort to provide adequate services to prevent kids from getting involved with the police in a negative way,” according to Youth Council Director Bob Monahan. 

“We’ve been working with the police department for almost 40 years as it relates to kids. We have been partners with them addressing issues. It is not just limited to this, but other aspects,” he continued.

“It’s [the program] basically trying to keep kids occupied during the summer,” said Det. Sophia Mason, from the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information (DCPI). “To teach them a few things – giving kids something to do in the summer instead of doing nothing.”

Cognizant of the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, the program’s flyer advertised that safety and sanitation materials such as hand sanitizer, gloves and masks are being distributed and social distancing is practiced.

“Because of COVID, we can’t have everyone sitting inside a classroom as we’ve had in the past,” Det. Mason said. “So each precinct in Queens North – there are about four or five of them doing this type of program – kids are doing a lot of the things kids did inside but outside.”

As a precaution, the 40 registered kids are divided into groups of 10 and the program will mostly operate in an outdoor setting, according to Monahan.

“Very conscious of social distancing precautions, my staff is well trained in that. We’re going to do everything we know works to protect our kids and our staff,” he stated. 

Monahan ensured that staff are present to enforce safety protocols. 

“These are exactly the types of summer programs we need for our children, especially during this challenging year, and I am always happy to support them!” Councilman Robert Holden said in a Facebook post. 

The 104 Get-Fit Youth Summer Camp continues, with our #CopsAndKids engaging in various Sports 🏀🏈⚾️⚽️. Youth Coordination Officers Bush & Amato hit the Court today for a great game of Ball 🏀. Kids-3️⃣6️⃣ & Cops-2️⃣7️⃣. @NYPDQueensNorth @NYPDCommAffairs

Posted by NYPD 104th Precinct on Thursday, July 23, 2020

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