- Associated Press - Friday, August 1, 2014

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - A $10,000 grant will help Casper police get involved in a youth boxing program.

The Casper Boxing Club recently got its first permanent location at a building in the city’s downtown. Now, the grant awarded to the first Police Athletic League chapter in Wyoming will help buy equipment to start a youth boxing program.

The program’s goal is to strengthen the bond between police officers and youngsters in the community, boxing club director Annie Clark told the Casper Star-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1qPOk2Z ).

“If kids respect the law and the people putting the law out there, they’re more apt to go out and respect the reason that there (are) laws out there and live a better life outside of the gym also,” Clark said.

Coaches at the club will train police officers so they can help out during classes for the youngsters. Officers will work out with the kids, doing jumping jacks, push-ups and running drills.

After that, everybody will glove up to spar in the ring.

“This is an opportunity for our officers to come down and interact with the youth and be mentors to them,” police Capt. Steve Freel said. “It’s a win-win on both sides because not only are we building a relationship with the youth and we’re teaching them something, but the youth can honestly teach my guys something, too.”

Children ages 8 and older are invited to join the evening classes, which are available on a pay-as-you-can basis, club officials said.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com