(KTNV) — Stepping up to the plate, more than 100 kids and their families met with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on opening day at Kianga Isoke Palacio Park for the Bolden Little League season.
For the kids, they're excited to be back in the dugout and on the field, but for the community, they are welcoming back this program because it has significantly reduced crime in areas where games are played.
"Baseball is pretty much about fun basically," said player Syrus Marshall. "I just love playing baseball."
The start of season 6 was not guaranteed after a fire destroyed more than $20,000 worth of baseball equipment.
"You can see on the side where the fire started," said Mario Berlinga, president and founder of Bolden Little League. "It must have went underneath, found a hole, came in, and just destroyed everything."
But after months of fund raising, the community helped raise enough money to buy new gear and uniforms for the players.
"I'm thankful for my coaches getting new uniforms," Marshall said. "It fits me perfect."
The community's monetary contribution is a reflection of the positive impact this baseball program has on its neighborhoods.
Since the Bolden Little League was created in 2017, there has been an 86 percent drop in crime in areas where baseball games are played. It's also improving the relationship between law enforcement and the youth they serve. Many of the coaches are current or former Las Vegas Metro Police officers.
Officers say the program also keeps kids away from negative activities in the community, and it inspires players to move towards a brighter future.
This year, the season for the Bolden Little League will wrap up in June.