Po­lice host suc­cess­ful youth base­ball camp

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By BILL GATES bgates@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @DEa­gle_s­ports

The Bal­ti­more County Po­lice De­part­ment built upon the suc­cess of the base­ball camp it hosted in the south­east area last sum­mer by repris­ing the event last month at Mer­ritt Point Park.

The free camp ran from July 17 through July 21, and was open to all chil­dren be­tween the ages of eight and 14. It was di­rected by Of­fi­cer Spike McEl­fish of Precinct 12.

(McEl­fish is also the head coach of the Eastern Tech base­ball team, and helps coach the Dun­dalk Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 38 base­ball team).

“We got the crowd we were look­ing for,” McEl­fish said. “Kids from a di­verse com­mu­nity, kids who need some at­ten­tion and help.

“Hope­fully, a byprod­uct of this camp is to build a bet­ter re­la­tion­ship be­tween the po­lice de­part­ment and the com­mu­nity.”

Some of the of­fi­cers who helped out at the 2016 camp, which was held at CCBC Dun­dalk, said they ex­pe­ri­ence pos­i­tive re­sults.

“Kids who I helped in [last year’s] camp would see me and yell, ‘You re­ally are a cop,’” one of­fi­cer said. “Other kids who knew me from camp would tell their friends that I’m a good guy.”

Fifty chil­dren showed up for the first day of this year’s camp. The num­ber dwin­dled a bit as the week went on, pos­si­bly due to the weather con­di­tions.

Campers were taught base­ball fun­da­men­tal dur­ing the morn­ing: field­ing, catch­ing, throw­ing and hit­ting. Af­ter a break for lunch, the campers were di­vided into two teams for an in­for­mal scrim­mage.

In ad­di­tion to of­fi­cers from Precinct 12, of­fi­cers from Precinct 11 (Es­sex), the county tac­ti­cal unit, the county traf­fic unit, and a cou­ple of School Re­source Of­fi­cers (Dun­dalk High, Spar­rows Point High) took part in the camp.

“The in­ter­ac­tion [with the kids] has been oth­er­worldly,” McEl­fish said. “We’ve been get­ting amaz­ing sup­port from busi­nesses and the com­mu­nity.”

The camp has re­ceived as­sis­tance from Donna’s Tav­ern, Chick-Fil-A and Mus­tang Pizza.

The Bal­ti­more County Po­lice De­part­ment hosted its se­cond free youth base­ball camp in the south­east area last month at Mer­ritt Point Park. Campers, vol­un­teers and of­fi­cers who helped teach base­ball fun­da­men­tals posed for a photo.

PHO­TOS BY BILL GATES

The short­stop ex­pressed some doubts about the ac­cu­racy of the um­pire’s call.

A dar­ing young baserun­ner scam­pers home as the throw ar­rives a tad too late.

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