James Paul "JP" Riggs recently completed the Washington State Patrol Kiwanis Youth Law Enforcement Camp at the WSP academy in Shelton.
In a note of gratitude to the Walla Walla Kiwanis Club and Walla Walla County Sheriff Mike Humphreys, who sponsored his attendance, he wrote, "this camp was an experience I will remember for a lifetime." He told me later that he enjoyed learning about the many branches of law enforcement and really liked the scuba diving.
JP, who will be a senior at Touchet High School this fall, is deeply interested in a law enforcement career. He said he's aiming for the Washington State Patrol or sheriff's department and plans to pursue a criminology degree at a four-year college. He is a member of the Touchet varsity football team and enjoys fishing and hunting in his spare time.
He is following a family tradition of law enforcement, noting that his dad, James Riggs of Touchet, is a reserve deputy sheriff for Walla Walla County. And his late grandfather had been a deputy sheriff for about five years during the 1970s in Benton County.
JP said a typical day at the WSP camp started at 5:30 a.m. when participants ran to the exercise area for 35 minutes of physical training. They returned to their quarters for a room-for-room inspection, "and if all rooms passed inspection, we went to chow. "Oh, did I mention that wherever we went, we RAN?"
After the meal, they attended classes, interspersed with more P/T. "If any cadet messed up any technique or maneuver, we were sent directly to the area affectionately called 'The Pit' for more P/T.
They could make calls home from their cell phones from 9-9:15 p.m.
"We were in our rooms at 2200 and lights out at 2300 (10 and 11 p.m. respectively). I must say that no one made it until lights out. We were fast asleep as soon as we hit our pillows."
Classes included DUI, Defensive Tactics, driving the emergency vehicle operations course, scuba diving, marching drills, drug awareness, gangs, evidence handling and gathering, finger printing, rifle skills, mock court, K-9, SWAT and a special presentation by Fish and Wildlife officers. In addition, they did physical agility tests, 1¬?-mile runs, obstacle course and swimming laps in the pool.
"I would highly recommend this six-day camp for any high school juniors or seniors who are interested in law enforcement careers," JP said.
Laurie Chambers, JP's very proud mom, resides in Walla Walla.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or afternoons at 526-8313.