Organization Uses Sports To Bridge Gap Between Youth And Law Enforcement

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Greater Charlotte hosted the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s ‘Badges for Baseball” event Wednesday, to help bridge the gap between Charlotte’s youth and local police with a sports clinic.

The event taught the members of the Boys and Girls Club about sports fundamentals on the Kevin Harvick Field in East Charlotte.

The kids also got to meet and interact with members of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Organizers say it’s important to build the relationship between young kids and law enforcement in the community.

“We are always willing to form those relationships in order to overall just bring a better sense of community,” said Courtney Stephens, the Assistant Director of Grants and Programs with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. “The law enforcement get to see the kids that they’re policing in their community, as well as kids start to increase their trust with law enforcement.”

The Kevin Harvick Field where the event was held Wednesday was unveiled in 2020 with the help of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. It was made possible through a partnership with the foundation, as well as several donors.

The Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation helps to strengthen America’s most underserved and distressed communities by supporting and advocating for children, building Youth Development Parks, partnering with law enforcement and youth service agencies, and addressing community needs through its national program initiatives.