WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A shortage of detention deputies is putting a damper on a long-standing Sedgwick County tradition.
L.A.W. Camp, hosted by the sheriff’s office and multiple other organizations, teaches at-risk children how to stay away from crime, gangs and drugs, but this year, the camp had to make cuts.
“It just makes it that much more real for the community,” says Detective Aaron Miller. “We can not do a lot of stuff that we normally do for the community.”
It’s not hard to notice just how quiet it is this year.
“Once you look at what we call Tent City, reality sets in that this camp is smaller than what is has been in the past,” Miller explains.
The overall camp availability was cut in half.
“Instead of 150 kids that we could be reaching, that we could be interacting with, and building those relationships, we are down to 60,” Miller says.
Detention Deputy Melissa Anguinaga helped out last year and planned to this year before she got told no because of staffing issues.
“We are very limited, especially on second shift. We only have two females, me and another female,” she says.
Because of her time in the National Guard, she got orders that she could help,.She and Detective Miller say that even outside the jail walls, a short staff can have a large impact.
“A lot of people don’t realize the affect it has on a community,” Miller says.
“It is just not affecting us in the jail, it is also affecting children in their summer,” Anguinaga adds.
Deputies hope that next year they can bring the camp back to normal size.