Guard supports law enforcement community engagement efforts

As summer camp season started, the Massachusetts National Guard made an effort to support local Junior Police Academies in the municipalities of Everett, Malden and Somerville the second week of July.

The week-long day programs are designed as a community engagement tool. Police officers serve as camp counselors and expose middle-school age students to the various departments and organizations that are critical to promoting public safety in the commonwealth.

“We do something different every day, said Police Capt. Paul Landry of the Everett Police Department. “It’s all focused around law enforcement and our inter-agency partners which is one of the reasons we have the [Massachusetts National] Guard here today.”

Landry, who retired as brigadier general from the Massachusetts National Guard, explained the enduring relationship between his department’s summer program and the National Guard.

“The Guard is a great partner, we have had them here several times,” he said. “It is the highlight of the week as far as the kids are concerned.” 

In addition to the display of a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter July 11, 2018 at Everett High School, the Massachusetts National Guard recruiting and retention personnel provided the junior cadets with an opportunity to test their physical fitness with the Guard Fit Challenge.

“We’re doing some circuit training, similar to Cross Fit,” said Army Staff Sgt. Lily Darling, who went onto explain the Guard Fit Challenge as a community engagement tool. 

After a quick warm-up, the cadets rotated through the different exercise stations. The whole time, many of them had smiles on their face as police officers and soldiers provided coaching and motivation.

“It’s good for us to do events like this because it is good branding for the National Guard, said Darling. “It also lets them know that we are part of the community and support them.”

Story and Photos by Spc. Samuel Keenan, Massachusetts National Guard


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