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Rapid City police start youth basketball league

July 8, 2018

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — The Rapid City Police Department has organized a basketball league aimed at keeping kids busy and out of trouble.

Black Hills Federal Credit Union sponsored two basketball hoops for the Night Court program, the Rapid City Journal reported . Scheels has provided basketballs while Volunteers of America purchased insurance.

The program began with almost 60 kids in its first week and grew to 17 teams in its third week.

Lt. Brian Blenner, who’s been a juvenile officer for two years, said he’s noticed that teen males have the highest arrest rates.

“If they’re not involved in orchestra, choir, football, basketball or some activity, that’s when we start seeing them,” he said.

Blenner said he hopes the program will improve connections between children and public safety officers.

“So we wanted to do what they wanted to do: and that’s basketball,” he said.

Shannon Morgan’s son is participating in the program.

“My son’s father is on parole for the umpteenth time,” Morgan said. “So this gives him an opportunity to build a different kind of relationship with police.”

The games last for about 10 minutes or when the first team to reach 11 points.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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