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In this July 29, 2015, photo, Chicago police officer Angela Wormley coaches for the Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League in Chicago. Current and retired officers are coaching about a hundred boys and girls, ages 9 to 12 in the league. The goal is to combat violence by keeping kids busy and away from summer violence while improving relations between police and the community. | Teresa Crawford / AP

Chicago police officers start youth baseball league in Englewood

SHARE Chicago police officers start youth baseball league in Englewood
SHARE Chicago police officers start youth baseball league in Englewood

CHICAGO — In one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, police officers have created a league of their own.

The Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League aims to keep kids busy and away from summer violence.

Another goal? To change perceptions. The officers want children to see them as mentors and friends.

According to police statistics, the district that includes the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side had 46 homicides last year.

Retired Chicago police officer Marco Johnson says recruiting for the league was a challenge at first. Most neighborhood kids weren’t interested in baseball — or in spending time with police.

But the league ended up with about a hundred boys and girls, ages 9 to 12. It has six teams, coached by current or retired officers.

The championship game is Wednesday night.

Prince Reynolds, 11, prepares to bat in a game of the Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League in Chicago. Current and retired officers are coaching about a hundred boys and girls, ages 9 to 12 in the league. The goal is to combat violence by keeping kids busy and away from summer violence while improving relations between police and the community. | Teresa Crawford / AP

Chicago police officer Angela Wormley, left, coaches for the Englewood Police/Youth Baseball League in Chicago. In one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods, police officers have created the league, which aims to keep kids busy and away from summer violence.

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