GRPD officers connect with kids at baseball game

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Sunday was a special day at Fifth Third Ballpark as 30 children got to attend a game free of charge and hang out with Grand Rapids police officers.

The Cops and Kids Day Out was hosted by the groups Voices for the Badge and Community and Police Relations Network.

Grand Rapids Police Department Chief Eric Payne says the event was all about building relationships. 

“It’s really important to have that positive interaction,” Payne said. “Sometimes, unfortunately, in a negative sense is the only time kids are sometimes see us.”

Officers volunteered their time to chaperone the kids. In a relaxed setting, like at a ballgame, officers had a chance to sit and talk with them. Those conversations, to Payne, are priceless. 

“I want kids to know that we’re approachable, that you can sit and have a conversation with a police officer and I encourage them to do that,” Payne said. “That is how we will make changes here, that is how we will grow as a community.”

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