KCK officers restore tradition of handing out baseball cards in community

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A tradition makes a comeback in Kansas City, Kan. About 20 years ago police officers stopped handing out baseball cards. After two police officers were killed on the job, the baseball cards return to the community. Officers say they're thrilled.

Community Policing Officer Kevin Terry is one of the first officers in KCK in 2016 to get the chance to hand out free baseball cards to whoever wants them.

Years ago this was a common occurrence. Officer Terry says he treasures the community relationships he has, and hopes restarting the simple tradition will improve those bonds even more.

"We do have a job to do, but we also want to be there to kind of help them know that we are their friends," he said.

Nicorya Akins says her mom told her about the days when officers used to give out baseball cards, she couldn't believe she was one of the first to receive one this time around.

"I'm 22 and I was super excited to get a card, so I know the little kids are going to be super excited," said Akins.

She says little things like a baseball card make a big difference.

"It puts you at ease because then you're not nervous when you see an officer," she said.

And that's the whole idea to remind people, young and less young that the police are there to keep people safe.

"We try to reach them at a young age so they know that they can come to us."

If the smiles and hugs are any indication, the cards may be a home run in the game of making lasting connections. The baseball cards were donated by Topps, and Kansas City, Kan., police say they're also made available through a partnership with the Kansas City Royals.

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