- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) - A new program in southwest Virginia hopes to use baseball to bring together kids and law enforcement officials.

The “Badges for Baseball” program in the Roanoke Valley is aimed at strengthening the relationship between communities and the police officers that protect them.

Law enforcement officials will be paired up with kids to play baseball and serve as mentors.

The program is a crime prevention partnership between the office of the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, the Boys and Girls Club of SW Virginia, Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA.

Several Virginia communities already have the “Badges for Baseball” program, including Fredericksburg and Richmond.

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