Officers from the Springfield Police Division arrived after a fight was reported Tuesday between adults at a softball field and then drew praise on social media after hanging around to show the children the right way to play.
The officer took that moment to show the young players “that the game is just a game and that what’s important is them playing together and having fun,” according to a post on the police division’s Facebook page.
A call log from dispatchers shows officers were called to a softball field at Davey Moore Park around 6:40 p.m. after receiving complaints of a fight at a youth baseball game.
As the game’s score increased, one of the team’s coaches took his players off the field, police records say.
A man then grabbed the ball, throwing it into one team’s bleachers. The ball nearly struck two children, according to the report. The man left the area before police arrived.
The dispute was over when officers arrived. Springfield Officer Deric Nichols then stuck around to play ball with some of the kids, Chief Stephen P. Moody said.
“He was simply doing what men and women here do every day, reaching out to children that were there to have fun and getting to know them on a personal level,” Moody said.
Nichols is a K-9 officer with the police division.
Officers often go out of their way to connect with Springfield residents, Moody said. But Nichols’ interaction with the players was captured and posted on social media.
“Actually, the pitcher registered a (strikeout) on Officer Nichols, which was good for them,” Moody said.