SCHENECTADY — When Melissa Melendez got home from work one day last week, she saw her young neighbor playing baseball alone.
The boy, about 5 years old, was tossing a wiffle ball up against the wall of his apartment at Yates Village, Melendez said. When she walked back downstairs a short time later, the boy suddenly had a couple of playing partners.
Two Schenectady police officers — patrolmen Jonathan Haigh and Joe Peters — joined in the game. One tossed a few pitches underhand to the boy, while the other officer waited nearby on a patch of grass, crouched and ready to field the ball.
“They didn’t have to do that, but they chose to and I found it beautiful,” said Melendez, who recorded the interaction. “I would love for people to see it happen more. I’ve seen videos of (similar interactions), but hadn’t personally seen it until Thursday.”
Melendez, who lives in Yates Village as well, said the officers joined in about 4:30 p.m. Thursday and stayed for about 15 minutes.
Sgt. Matt Dearing said the department encourages officers to get out into the community and interact with the public when they have a few minutes of downtime.
“If they see that, they’re encouraged to participate and have a good time with the kids,” Dearing said. “It’s great to see people appreciate that kind of stuff, because we enjoy doing it.”