GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new Grand Rapids Police Department summer program aims to keep kids on the baseball diamond and off the street.
In the On Base with GRPD program, Grand Rapids officers spend time each week on city ballfields, teaching the mechanics of America’s favorite pastime to intercity youth.
The idea got off the ground in December. Officers wanted a way to revitalize the love of baseball in urban neighborhoods, where baseball fields are sparse and little league is almost unheard of. They also wanted to make a connection with kids.
In the wake of horror stories like those in Ferguson, Baltimore and New York where cops can come out looking like the bad guys, local officers thought it was important to interact with kids in a positive, fun setting.
The officers are working with about 25 kids. They play ball twice a week — Tuesdays and Thursdays — and then get lunch.