INDIANAPOLIS — On Tuesday night the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to a call of a different kind. They were seen at Forest Manor Park on the city’s east side in an effort to bridge the gap with community members.
The annual event is referred to as Badges for Baseball. It is put on by the Indianapolis Indians, Indy PAL (Police Athletic & Activities League) and Indy RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), WTHR reported.
The goal of the outreach event is to build positive relationships between kids in the community and law enforcement officers.
“It was super fun. I was like, I hope I remember how to play and they don’t yell at me for getting out. And yes, I got out,” said IMPD Sgt. Tyneka Sperry, after gathering with kids and peers for a few fun games of kickball and quick ball.
“It’s really cool that you get to play with police officers, playing kickball,” according to 8-year-old Allen Conley.
Sperry noted the importance of the event with all the turmoil going on in the world.
“Especially right now with [the] turmoil the world is in, it’s always this ‘good vs. bad,’ so it’s nice to come together and show them that’s not really how it is, that we’re all the same” Sperry said. “We’re all moms and dads, brothers and sisters. We put our pants on the same way every day. We cook dinners and do chores.”
As officers cavorted with the kids, they also taught the youngsters about different aspects of the law enforcement profession, from the bomb squad to horse patrol. The event allows children a chance to explore future opportunities.
“A lot of people in my family have been on the wrong side of the tracks, and I kind of wanted to do something with my life,” said 15-year-old Jason Mayes. “I was thinking military or law enforcement, one of the two.”
Mayes is not alone. Many other children and teens came away with a positive perspective of a challenging career.