Students from a Baltimore City school will attend an Orioles’ home game on June 13 courtesy of the team and the Maryland State Police because they did well in class.
The O’s donated 150 tickets, hats and T-shirts and will provide food and transportation. TFC Mark Mross organized the trip in a partnership with Booker T. Washington Middle school that he and the school began in 2016.
Mross is stationed at Golden Ring Barrack R in Baltimore County, which last year nominated him for the Chesapeake Gateway Chamber of Commerce Hometown Hero Award he received for dedication and hard work.
A release from state police headquarters in Pikesville said “The mission of the program is to improve the relationship between the public and police in historically underserved communities by creating a school program which recognizes and awards exceptionally positive actions.”
It said the students were being honored for their extraordinary actions and positive behavior.
“The hope is to promote future engagement in positive behaviors among youth both in and outside of the school,” it said.
As Charlie Daniels said in that TV commercial, after he handed the fiddle back to its owner (whose proficiency in its use he thought left something to be desired), “That’s how you do it, son.”
We’re tired of hearing that young people shouldn’t be rewarded for doing well in school, behaving properly or anything else they should be doing anyway. That’s nonsense.
Rewarding students at the right time helps them understand that success properly achieved is desirable and worthy of praise. They are at an impressionable age. If they are praised for doing a good job, it will sink in. If what they do is ignored, they may wonder if it was worth the effort.
Those middle school kids will never forget the night the state police took them to a big league baseball game. Who knows what will grow from the seeds this planted? Maybe one or more will become a police officer who knows “how it’s done.”
Our police agencies have long been reaching out to citizens of all ages. They do it because it works.
One event is the National Night Out, which aims to “promote involvement in crime prevention activities, enhance police-community partnerships, build on neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals, letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.”
Several hundred people attended last year’s local events that were supported by area businesses and nonprofit agencies, as well as law enforcement and public safety-related organizations.
Police Chief Charles Hinnant described ours as “a unique opportunity for people of all ages throughout Cumberland to promote police-community partnerships ... (with) something for everyone, including food, beverage, entertainment and information on how to better protect yourself and your family from becoming a victim of crime.”
Cumberland Police, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and State Police troopers from Barrack C in LaVale joined last year with the Salvation Army to host their ninth annual Summer Youth Camp for kids aged 11 to 14. It was attended by 54 youngsters.
They toured the court house and state police aviation hanger and met police officers, prosecutors and court employees who showed them how law enforcement, the courts and supporting agencies work to make the community safer.
They received guidance on how to make the right choices in their lives and ended the week-long program at a picnic with their families.
Cumberland Police also held a Citizens Academy for adults. Police and the citizens they protect and serve got to learn about each other.
Last December marked the 14th edition of “Shop With A Cop,” in which 44 of our area’s middle schoolers went to the Walmart in LaVale with $150 in cash donated by the Cumberland Valley Optimist Club. (See: Cops and kids shop, bond during annual outing,” Dec. 19 Times-News, Page 1A.)
The youngsters were from Maryland and West Virginia, and they were helped with their Christmas shopping by police officers from both states.
Maryland State Police Senior Trooper Christopher Toey told our reporter Michael A. Sawyers that Jamae Blair, the student he escorted, was hesitant about getting into his cruiser. That feeling evaporated when she began telling him what she wanted to buy, and whose presents they would be.
Blair, a Braddock Middle School seventh-grader, told Sawyers that “Cops aren’t bad like some people say. I guess I’ve seen movies and TV that make them seem that way, but they’re not.”
Anything that encourages and helps to establish a good relationship between the police and young people — whether it’s in small towns, the inner cities where it especially is needed, or anywhere else — is a worthwhile endeavor.