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Cops Take Durham Kids To Camp

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DURHAM — Some Durham police officers have traded their handguns for fishing poles. They are spending three days camping with some young children.

The idea behind the Streetlights to Starlights program is to expose young boys to a new environment, build relationships and have some fun.

Falls Lake is only a 20-minute drive from downtown Durham, but, for some young campers, it feels like a world away.

"It's quiet, especially at night. There's nobody be messing with you, no shooting and stuff," says a camper.

"I like it out here. It's better than the projects," says a camper

The campers come from the city's public housing projects; their chaperones are cops.

"Parents tend to say 'See that officer? If you don't act right, he'll take you to jail.' That's what we're trying to break, that's not how it is," says Officer Shawn Pate.

The trip gives the kids a chance to try new things, like fishing. Like all boys, these campers are fascinated by anything that has to do with bugs.

For three days, the boys learn what it is like to work as a team and depend on each other. They also manage to build a bond with the men who brought them here.

"It's real different than when they're on duty chasing people, but when they're out here they're like your best friend," says camper Curtis Outterbridge.

Running a camp is not cheap. The food, camping equipment and fishing rods all costs money. The officers had to come up with the cash themselves.

If you would like to donate money to the Streetlights to Starlight progam, contact the

Durham Housing Authority


The officers hope to start offering the camp once a month.


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