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Kids, cops aim for fun
Annual Target Challenge teaches kids gun safety
Austin Poole listens to instructions from Sherman Pass during last year's Kids and Cops Challenge shooting event.

4-H Cops and Kids Target Challenge

When: 9 a.m. March 24

Where: Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center Activity Building, Gainesville

Contact: 770-535-8291,

The annual Hall County 4-H Cops and Kids Target Challenge is set for this weekend at Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center in Gainesville.

A roundup of officers with the Gainesville Police Department and Hall County Sheriff's Office will compete against kids in an organized shootout.

Beginning at 9 a.m. March 24, participants will shoot targets in a series of controlled relays.

For every hour on the range, students in the 4-H Shooting Awareness Fun and Education program get an hour of classroom instruction.

The competition gives police and sheriff's deputies a chance to let their guards down and have a relaxed, friendly rivalry while spending quality time with children in the community.

Participants will handle BB guns, which is always a slight challenge for the officers who are used to their standard-issue pistols or rifles.

During last year's event, Sherman Pass, the coach and coordinator of the Hall County team, explained the need for the annual event.

"The main purpose of this event is to show there is a positive connection between kids and guns."

As part of S.A.F.E., children ages 10-14 take written tests on the lessons they learn, such as how one should carry a weapon when trying to negotiate a fence.

Safety and sportsmanship are the central themes of the group, which meet once a week and compete against other 4-H teams in the region.