Federal, state and local law enforcement agency personnel joined together June 11 to create a special day for some young people.
More than 30 officers from eight agencies took part in the Miracle League of Western New York’s (WNY) Law Enforcement Day at Grand Island, New York.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Buffalo Deportation Officer Peter Sukmanowski coordinated the baseball game for 40 children and teens.
Sukmanowski threw the ceremonial opening pitch with Sheriff James Voutour of Niagara County.
The Miracle League of WNY, a nonprofit organization, gives young people with mental and physical disabilities the opportunity to achieve their dreams of playing baseball.
Sukmanowski commented on the significance of the event for ICE officers.
“There are very few things, as law enforcement officers, we can do that are more rewarding.”
ERO Buffalo officers participated in both offense and defense, assisted while at bat, ran the bases, caught the ball, and had a great time.
The ERO Buffalo Honor Guard presented the colors during the pre-game ceremony and Deportation Officer Lawanda Charles sang the national anthem.
The Honor Guard participated in the event as part of their official ICE duties and other ERO staff gave their time during off-duty hours.
Sukmanowski organized the game in order to give back to the community ICE serves, especially the young people who face significant hardships and challenges in their lives.
“Seeing the smiles on the players’ faces and having conversations with the players and their families about how much they enjoy the event each year makes it all worthwhile for the law enforcement officers involved.”
“It gives ICE a chance to show people a side of law enforcement that is not often seen. Most interactions with law enforcement officers occur when a person is the victim or suspect in a crime.”
“Our interactions commonly occur at one of the worst times in a person’s life.”
“Community policing events, like Miracle League, allow us to interact with the community in an everyday environment.”