Law enforcement and kids connect through baseball in Central Maine

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OAKLAND, Maine (WABI) Kids, cops, and baseball.

That all came together at Maine's Mini-Fenway in Central Maine Tuesday.

It's part of a program called Badges for Baseball, and was put on by the Alfond Youth and Community Center in coordination with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.

"Connecting law enforcement, Badges for Baseball, with our kids is so essential, because our kids don't get a chance to see the men in blue on the field working with them, playing with them," said Ken Walsh, CEO of the Alfond Youth and Community Center. "And they're real human beings. They have families. And for our kids to really feel like they can talk to law enforcement is an important piece, and I think this is what it's all about."

Kids learned lessons from Waterville and Oakland police officers as well as Maine Game Wardens.

They say it's a great way to build community relations between police and kids.

"It's a good opportunity for us to engage with the kids at a young age," said Waterville Police Chief Joe Massey. "And it builds that long-lasting relationship as they become teenagers and young adults. It's very important, very beneficial for both us, both the children, and the community."

"It was pretty cool because normally you'd see them in uniform and stuff," said participant Molly Malkasian. "You don't really think about how maybe they have a personal life other than that, and it was just cool to hang out with them, and they're pretty fun."

The kids even took down the police in a fun dodgeball game at the end of the day.