Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) recently announced the 2011 Maryland Badges for Baseball program. The program is being implemented in nine Maryland jurisdictions, including eight county Sheriff’s offices. Badges for Baseball partners include: the Sheriff’s offices of Allegany, Charles, Dorchester, Garrett, Harford, and Prince George’s counties, and Baltimore City; the Boys & Girls Clubs of Annapolis/Anne Arundel County, Metro Baltimore, and Washington County; and the YMCA of Prince George’s County.

Badges for Baseball is a crime prevention program designed to pair law enforcement professionals as mentors and coaches with youth. The program serves as a positive outlet for youth during out-of-school hours when they are most likely to commit or become victims of crime. Participating youth will learn the basics of baseball/softball while taking part in the Foundation’s character development program, Healthy Choices, Healthy Children. Additionally, these youth will be provided with a one-of-a-kind summer camp experience in Waterville, Maine as a result of their participation in the 2011 Maryland Badges for Baseball program.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Attorney General Gansler and the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention to expand Badges for Baseball across our home state for another year,” said Steve Salem, president and executive director of CRSF. “The continued support of Attorney General Gansler and the GOCCP has been tremendous; we’re looking forward to continuing and growing our relationship with all of the Maryland Badges for Baseball sites.”

The Office of the Attorney General sought and received a grant of more than $212,000 from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) to support the Maryland Badges for Baseball program in partnership with CRSF. In addition, CRSF will provide all technical and programmatic support, bringing the total investment in Maryland’s young people most in need to more than $275,000. This funding will enable the program to serve over 1,000 Maryland young people.

Badges for Baseball not only teaches kids the basic skills of the game, but also helps them learn critical life lessons in leadership, good sportsmanship, and integrity, while developing positive relationships with law enforcement officers in their own communities,” said Attorney General Gansler in a press statement. “I’m excited that we are able to continue to support this program in 2011 to serve more kids and ensure they have a positive outlet this summer.”