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For Immediate Release

Contact:
March 04, 2011 DUSM Garrett Hawk, Eastern District of Louisiana (504) 589-3131 
U.S. Marshals and Local Law Enforcement Team Up with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to Host Badges for Baseball Camp in New Orleans

New Orleans, LA – United States Marshal Genny May announced that on Thursday, March 3rd and Friday March 4th, 2011 Deputy United States Marshals (DUSMs) and Task Force Officers (TFOs) from the Eastern District of Louisiana in New Orleans teamed up with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation to host a Badges for Baseball camp for over 200 local middle school students from four schools. The schools that participated in this camp were Arthur Ashe Charter School, Sophie B. Wright Charter School, James M. Singleton Charter School, and Samuel J. Green Charter School.  The camp was based on a model of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s overnight camp in Aberdeen, MD, which the United States Marshals Service has supported since 2009.  This was the first-ever event of its kind to occur outside of Aberdeen, MD. The Eastern District of Louisiana was thrilled to help launch Badges for Baseball not only for the city of New Orleans, but also for the entire U.S. Marshals Service. 

The DUSMs received valuable assistance and support for this extremely successful camp from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Park Service Police, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, Louisiana State Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Slidell Police Department and Louisiana National Guard.
 
The two-day camp was scheduled to be held at the Carrollton-Audubon Batture Fields in Uptown New Orleans, and was made possible by the Carrolton Boosters Club. However, on the last day of the camp there were severe thunder storms and the day’s events almost had to be cancelled until Mr. Tom Benson and the NFL New Orleans Saints organization graciously opened the doors to their indoor Saints training facility in Metairie, LA for the campers. This was a great opportunity for all of the students, some of whom had never been outside of the city limits. The students were addressed and provided words of encouragement by Mr. Benson and Saints cornerback Leigh Torrence during their visit.

Upon their arrival to camp students were placed into teams, ran through warm-up exercises, and rotated through instructional, fundamental baseball skills stations, which included infield, outfield, hitting, and throwing. At the end of the day they played actual baseball games and a game called RipKen Quickball. Most importantly, the participants were given the opportunity to interact with Deputy U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement officers who served as their mentors and coaches.
 
Badges for Baseball is a nation-wide initiative that was created in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice as a juvenile crime prevention tool. The program aims to enhance the relationship between law enforcement officers and kids in communities across the country using baseball as the medium.  The program reaches kids at an impressionable age, giving them the opportunity to see law enforcement officers as mentors, friends, and coaches, rather than as adversaries.
 
As part of the program, law enforcement officers become coaches, teaching important lessons of teamwork, communication, respect, and leadership that apply to life on and off the field. “What happens in baseball, happens in life!” Additionally, kids learn the value of a healthy lifestyle, the importance of setting goals, and how to achieve those goals, such as staying in school, not joining gangs, and staying away from drugs. As a result of the program, children and their families are more likely to see their local law enforcement community as an agent for positive change and safety.
  
For further information about Badges for Baseball contact the E/LA U.S. Marshals Service at (504) 589-6079 press 1 or visit the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation’s website at www.ripkenfoundation.org. To learn more about the New Orleans Saints visit www.neworleanssaints.com . To learn more about the U.S. Marshals Service visit www.usmarshals.gov and to learn more about the Eastern District of Louisiana Marshals office visit http://www.usmarshals.gov/district/la-e/index.html.

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