Hockey, hotdogs and harmony.
Two busloads of students from Idaho City and Garden Valley schools mingled happily Wednesday night with law enforcement folks who made the third annual Cops & Kids trip to CenturyLink Arena possible.
The goal of Cops & Kids is to foster positive relationships between youth and police. That’s easier to do in situations that aren’t confrontational or scary.
“They see us in a setting that’s fun,” said Idaho City Police Chief John Krempa, event organizer. “They see us in a positive light — as human beings.
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This year’s Cops & Kids trip had the highest student turnout of the past three years, with 120 kids participating. The trip was open to all students, including kids in juvenile probation and those from families who might never have the extra cash to go to a game.
“When you’re stressed out, to come to one of these games, it just brightens your mood, makes you feel human again,” said Glen Pay, a ninth-grader in Idaho City. “
There were about 20 adults, including officers from three different departments, including Idaho City Police, Boise County Sheriff’s Office, and Parma Police, and an official from the Boise National Forest. One of the bus drivers was Mark Veristain, pastor at Idaho City Christian Center.
Krempa said he’s hoping law enforcement and kids from around the Valley will join in the event next year.
The trip to see the Steelheads, which includes meals and prizes (eight Steelheads jerseys were given away), cost about $3,000. This year’s sponsors included: Cumo Project, Idaho Power, Mountain Life Ministries and Local VFW Post 142.