MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Police will be using a favorite school yard game to reach out to youth beginning in January.
Kids 18 and younger are invited to come out for a game of kickball Jan. 2, 2017, with local police officers for Kickball with Cops, a monthly activity at the Mount Vernon YMCA sports center. All children who come will have police as teammates in games that will be played mostly for the fun of it, but also as a way for youth to get to know police better, MVPD Cpl. Kyle Theibert said.
“Some of the officers and I were discussing the best way to reach out to kids,” Theibert said. “We wanted something on a level that they would find fun.”
Theibert said the officers decided on kickball because anyone can walk in and play. The police will play on the same team as the kids, allowing everyone to mix in a fun environment.
Theibert said he hopes the social interaction will also dispel negative stereotypes children may have about police.
MVPD Chief Roger Monroe said he sees a lot of good coming out of the Kickball with Cops program.
“I think this will be a good program to help promote fitness for our kids, and they will get to interact with police officers in a fun environment,” Monroe said. “We hope to promote teamwork and sportsmanship without over-competitiveness. We believe that someone wins and someone loses but it is not the emphasis of the program. It is to have fun and anyone can play.”
Kickball games will be held the first Monday of the month from 6-7 p.m., Theibert said. Kids coming in for the first time should bring a parent and show up a few minutes early. The games are free, and no YMCA membership is required.
Any changes in schedule will be posted in advance on the MVPD Facebook page.
For more information, visit the MVPD Kickball with Cops Facebook page or email Theibert at cpltheibert@ mountvernonohio.org.