- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

BALTIMORE (AP) - A juvenile crime prevention program designed to reduce tensions between police and inner city communities will broaden its presence in 2015 under the scrutiny of Cal Ripken Jr.

Badges for Baseball, which is operated by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, will return to 21 states and add a few more this year.

The program pairs police and kids and is designed to serve as on outlet for youth during after-school hours.

Ripken says the program brings the message of respect to youngsters, with police mentors.

Steve Salem, president of the Foundation, says recent violent confrontations involving police demonstrates the need for a program to address those issues.

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