Columbia cops holding safe summer camp event

Safe in the City participants learning from Columbia-Richland firefighters.

COLUMBIA (WACH, AP) -- Columbia police officers are offering kids a fun way to stay safe while school is out.

Chief Randy Scott says his school resource officers are sponsoring a "Safe in the City" event on Thursday at Mays Park.

About 30 kids will get the chance to meet with SWAT team members as well as officers who work with Columbia's K9 unit. Participants will also get to ride a bicycle and learn about South Carolina traffic laws.

Lt. Vandell McCary believes activities like the camp help keep kids out of trouble.

"It's very important, very critical that we have kids involved in constructive, positive activities to keep them from getting lured into those type of activities that could get them messed up for life. Trouble, we know, is so easy to get into, and so difficult to get out of," said McCary.

As part of the program, Scott says campers have learned about the dangers of drugs, gangs and peer pressure. They've also gotten lessons on Internet safety and healthy eating habits.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)