PACT is a day camp program that was developed in 1994 by LEFI (Law Enforcement Foundation of Illinois) to assist youth in making the right choices and to help them avoid involvement in delinquency. The Fairview Heights Police Department assisted LEFI in the initial planning of the camps and we have served as the coordinating agency for the Metro East camp since the inception.
Officers from surrounding agencies (O'Fallon, Belleville Swansea, St. Clair County Sheriff, New Baden, Glen Carbon, SIU Edwardsville, Collinsville and Edwardsville) have come to the camps to assist as counselors. The assistance from these agencies enables us to maintain the low officer to child ratio that is extremely important in this camp. For the past two years Officer Barnes has made participating in PACT camp as a counselor for children from Glen Carbon his priority.
The forty annual camp participants are boys and girls ages nine to twelve who are selected because they have come to the attention of either an officer involved in the schools (such as a School Resource Officer) or personnel from the school such as a social worker. These officers and school personnel have seen some behavior or know of some family background that indicates to them the potential for violent, delinquent, and/or gang related behavior in the child.
PACT works to reduce delinquency and related problem behavior involving these children by helping them develop a positive orientation towards police and their community as well as improving pro-social attitudes and behaviors. The positive police experience the camp provides these youths, as well as the improvement to their personal competency skills helps guide these children when their paths become difficult to maneuver.