Austin Police Department Officer Jeremy Bohannon has spent a majority of his life using athletics to connect with the people around him. A Washington-native, he went to college at Washington State and was a stand out on the football field, playing Defensive Back all four years of college. After college, Bohannon pursued a career in law enforcement and moved to Austin, Texas 10 years ago to join the police department.
It’s no secret that both college football players and police officers are beloved by youth, a responsibility Officer Bohannon doesn’t take lightly.
“I always like the idea of being a role model and I think that was one of the reasons that encouraged me to become a police officer. I wanted to be someone the community could look to to help solve problems,” said Bohannon.
Though he was spending less time on the gridiron and more time on patrol, his desire to get active and build relationships never wavered. Bohannon says he frequently stops to play a game of catch or shoot some hoops with kids in the neighborhood while he’s on patrol.
“The opportunity to play and exercise with these kids really began to pop up every day while I was on the job, said Bohannon. “I was utilizing sports to gain common ground and create positive relationships.”
Three years ago Officer Bohannon began his involvement with Austin’s Police Athletic League (PAL), which is where he was introduced to Badges for Baseball.
“The program combines two things that I’m passionate about and that’s staying active and improving our community. It’s nice to get outside and show young kids that cops are people too and we’re here to support them.”
The Ripken Foundation recently opened a new Youth Development Park in Austin located at the Boys and Girls Club of Austin’s new campus which is also home to Austin PAL’s headquarters. Officer Bohannon attended the opening of the new field and even hosted a dance party with kids from the Boys & Girls Club while he was there. He says he looks forward to his involvement in Badges for Baseball clinics for years to come.