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Police Take Kids Out to Ballgame

Patrolman Craig Bergamo sat with fellow officers at a small table Thursday night handing out badges to children. The golden stickers, shaped like police shields, marked the kids as participants in the annual Dare Abuse Resistance Training trip to the ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport. “For $10 it isn't a bad deal,” said Westport's D.A.R.E. Officer Ned Batlin. “You get a night out with the police and a ballgame.”

The students, all fifth graders from Westport's public schools, paid for their tickets. The officers supplied transportation and supervision. Batlin said the Police Athletic League kicked in a small stipend for the bus drivers.

Sixty-five kids signed up for the trip and 20 officers acted as chaperones. The group rolled out just after 5:30 p.m., on a promise to parents that they wouldn't get home too late. "It could be the best baseball game in the world, but these buses are coming back at 9:30 p.m.,” Batlin said.

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