Every Baltimore resident knows Cal Ripken Jr., the legendary third basemen for the Baltimore Orioles who owns the record for consecutive games played in Major League Baseball. Well, Ripken is still involved with baseball, and he is also putting his support in a program that is designed to reduce the tensions between the police and young people.
The program is called Badges for Baseball, and it is an after school program that pairs police officers and kids together. The goal is to show the kids that there is a constructive outlet for them, while also establishing that the police aren’t inherently bad.
While this is true, and though there is certainly great intent here, the message being portrayed here is that juveniles are in the wrong and that they need to be taught that their ways are incorrect. They have to give in to the police, so the subtext of this program goes, otherwise they risk trouble. Again, this may actually be good advice for some people, but in general, there is blame to be placed on both sides.
Juvenile crime rates have been plummeting recently, as that last link discusses. Juveniles are also far more susceptible to police trickery, and they are also far less aware of their rights. Sure, they need to get along with the police — but when juveniles are accused of committing a criminal offense, they need legal representation to ensure they are not taken advantage of by the police.
Source: CBS Baltimore, “Ripken Throws Support To Juvenile Crime Prevention Program,” Associated Press, Jan. 14, 2015