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Inaugural Kickball with Salt River Cops

Youth and staff from the Salt River Police Department take a group picture before splitting off into groups for kickball.

Gang violence, drug abuse and bullying were the three main discussion points at the recent Kickball With Cops event in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

The Salt River Police Department and Youth Services teamed up to host the event at the Salt River Recreation Field on November 17.

This is the first time that Youth Services and the SRPD have partnered to host an event this large, which included dozens of youth. About 90 Youth Services participants and 30 members of the SRPD played games of kickball together.

As one player runs to first base, the other is running to catch the ball during a game with Salt River Police Officers. Many of the younger kids learned how to play the game with guidance from the SRPD.
Officers and Youth Services staff cooked hot dogs and hamburgers, and prizes were handed out based on answers related to each topic the officers discussed with the youth. For example, the officers picked a random participant and asked for a fact on bullying, gang violence or drugs.

The goal is for the SRPD and Community youth to work together to stop gang violence, drug abuse and bullying. “We want to teach youth how to be able to stop all three things,” Sgt. Jeremiah Rangel said.

SRPD Chief Karl Auerbach mentioned that his department is always looking for different ways to be involved with the Community, and this event showed the youth a different side of the officers.

“This is what our Community is all about, spending time with one another,” said Auerbach.

Youth had fun playing against each other and the officers at the Recreation Field. Many officers showed up to the inaugural Kickball with a Cop event showing they too could have fun.