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Youth Summit 2012 means fun, savvy, Panthers

Albany Panthers Coach Lucious Davis (in white shirt) and General Manager Will Carter (in black shirt) caused excitement when they gave away tickets to Saturday’s game to all the children at the Albany Police Department Youth Summit Thursday.

Albany Panthers Coach Lucious Davis (in white shirt) and General Manager Will Carter (in black shirt) caused excitement when they gave away tickets to Saturday’s game to all the children at the Albany Police Department Youth Summit Thursday.

ALBANY, Ga. — In keeping with its goal of keeping children safe, the Albany Police Department held its Youth Summit 2012 at the Law Enforcement Center Thursday.

The 7-hour-long summit included presentations on subjects such as gang awareness, social networking and bullying. And there were cheerleaders.

“I told my mom I didn’t want to come,” said Micaiah Thomas. “But I’m glad I did. The day was full of surprises.”

One of the surprises was an invitation, along with free tickets, to Saturday’s Albany Panthers game against the Louisiana Swashbucklers from Panthers coach Lucious Davis and General Manager Will Carter.

The Panther officials just happened to be accompanied by a couple of cheerleaders. Students crowded around the Panthers representatives and asked the cheerleaders, Davis and Carter for autographs.

“This is so very generous of them to give us the tickets,” said Jaron Thomas. “It is a big surprise, and they brought the cheerleaders, too. That’s great.”

It wasn’t all fun and games at the summit. The students received information and took part in discussions on cellphone safety, Internet surfing and bullying at school or in the cyber world. The summit was sponsored by the Family Protection Unit and the Albany Police AmeriCorps.

Police officers mingled with the students, and the students were given tours of police headquarters.

“The tour was really cool,” said Beanbre Mosley. “We got to see what they do and where they do it.”