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Cop camp proves to be a real blast

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By John Barnhart

    The Bedford area’s Cop Camp drew 130 local children, once again the maximum they are able to accommodate. The camp gives the kids a chance to get a close look at what police officers do.

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    One event that always grabs their attention is when the State Police bomb disposal experts show up. Garland Snead set off a number of small explosives, including blasting caps, with a goal to impress on the children what even a small amount of these materials can do and the fact that they are dangerous to handle if you haven’t been properly trained. One blasting cap sent shrapnel through a paint can and another tore a pigs foot, used as a stand-in for a human hand, apart.
    The Abingdon Police Department showed up with their Segways and let the kids try them. Abingdon has a connection with Bedford because that town’s police chief, Tony Sullivan, previously served as the police lieutenant here. Abingdon has been using the Segways for downtown patrols. The police version of the two-wheeled carts have extended batteries, pouches for equipment and flashing blue lights. They are agile and it’s easy to learn to use them.
    The children also got to see how crime scene investigation is really done. As always, it amazes the CSI fans that the entire case can’t be solved in one hour, with commercial breaks.