10th Annual Police Campout Brings Community, Teens Together

Jim Gudas
August 16, 2019 - 8:56 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A South Side park hosted a festival and campout Friday night that brings community children and teens together with Chicago Police.

The only thing louder than the cicadas in Nat King Cole Park at 85th and King Drive were the children and teens playing games and chowing down on hot dogs, hamburgers and other favorite at the 10th annual Peace in the Park After Dark festival.

Sergeant Jeffrey West, who works in the 6th District that hosted the campout, said the event gives him and all the officers of the district a chance to improve relations with the community.

It also helps strengthen work with children and teens to mentor them and teach them how to stay safe, and to show the community that police aren't just authority figures in uniform.

"We come out here to show the police in a different light," West said. "The police and off-duty officers are here as group leaders and mentors to the children so they can talk to them and see that they are a person just like them."

The event was dedicated to Officer Thomas Wortham, who was off duty when he was shot and killed in 2010 outside his South Side home in 2010.

(Jim Gudas/WBBM)