Police host successful youth baseball camp
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.
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.