La Habra police officers are handing out baseball cards in an effort to encourage children to talk to them.
The first card from a limited collection of 30 will be distributed to all those who ask for it. Then, the second card in the series will be passed out.
The cards feature pictures of 28 Dodger baseball players, Manager Tommy Lasorda and a group shot of the team’s coaches on one side, while the flip side contains anti-drug and character-building messages.
To collect the cards, children must strike up a conversation with any officer besides those who regularly visit the city’s schools to teach Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or DARE, classes.
“The only reason we don’t want the DARE officers to hand (the cards) out is because kids already know us and we want them to make contact with other officers who they see walking or driving through their neighborhoods, so that they can see that police officers are people just like everybody else,” said DARE Officer Cindy Knapp. The card distribution “encourages better community relations and it makes kids more comfortable with talking to police.”
Baseball card collector Blake Harrison said that although he will feel uncomfortable asking for a card the first time, he does plan to ask for a few.
The cards “might be valuable some day,” the 12-year-old said. “It’s kind of weird going up to someone you don’t know, but if you do and they’re nice to you, then you’re less scared and it gives you confidence.”