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Published December 05, 2010, 08:53 PM

New Civil Air Patrol Squadron Comes To Crookston

The Civil Air Patrol program founded in 1941 is coming to Polk County. It is not just bringing aviation to Crookston, but is the latest effort to get children involved in their communities and to make good decisions.

The Civil Air Patrol program founded in 1941 is coming to Polk County.

It is not just bringing aviation to Crookston, but is the latest effort to get children involved in their communities and to make good decisions.

One quick signature by Crookston Mayor David Genereux and the city officially has the 134th Composite Squadron

"They can not only go up in a plane or a glider, but they can get hands-on control. They can actually fly," said Lt. Lois Kriegh.

The Squadron, at the Polk County Sheriff's Office, has been six months in the making.

An Auxiliary of the United States Air Force, it gives children a look into aviation starting at age 12.

Just one element of their cadet programs.

"It's kind of like scouting. They learn everything about wilderness survival, how to start a campfire, read maps," said Kriegh.

The program aims to help kids who feel pressured to do risky behaviors in school, including drugs.

"It's all about the youth and teaching them to set goals for themselves. It sounds crazy but we want them to 'be all you can be,'" said Captain Dan Morlan with the Civil Air Patrol.

This latest addition to the area is going to have key benefits for the youth in Crookston. It is also going to come in handy for a few other reasons.

"It gives us another tool for those emergency situations," said Genereux.

The Civil Air Patrol provides disaster relief, which is crucial for Polk County come spring.

"Flooding. Flooding is always an issue in Crookston. This is just another asset we have," said Genereux.

"They'll provide man-power for sandbagging or anything like that," Morlan said.

Perhaps most importantly, the squadron will help teenagers as they get older.

"We give young adults an opportunity to be part of a program where they can feel good about themselves," said Kriegh.

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