Utica, N.Y. - Utica Little League hosted what they hope to be an annual event with their first Police Appreciation Night at Seymour Park on Tuesday. Dozens of officers from the Utica Police Department were in uniform supporting both the Minor and Little League teams playing.
UPD sponsors two teams in the Little League system; The John E. Creedon PBA sponsors a Minor B Team, and the Thomas Lindsey Foundation sponsors a Minor A Team.
Sgt. Peter Caruso threw out the first pitch in recognition of his Medal of Honor given to him at UPD's most recent awards ceremony for his courageous acts earlier in 2020.
"I was involved in an incident last April where I encountered a gunman on the street and he opened fire on me. I pursued him, and he was later captured.".
Sgt. Caruso says that events like these are for the development of the youth of this city and he wants the kids on and off the field to know that they can go to officers and not just look at them as intimidating figures with a badge.
"To be out here with the public enjoying the weather, watching the kids play baseball, and being able to interact by having the kids come up to us and talk to us, maybe ask us some questions to see that we're very easily approachable. It's all about supporting the community and letting them know that we're here to provide protection and service to them and that we are approachable."