The fields were a little wet but the kids at Valley Little League weren't letting anything get in the way of the Tuesday night games. Once the games started, several parents said news of federal charges against 11 alleged Syracuse gang members meant the streets and neighborhoods around the fields were safer for these kids.
"I'm a grandfather and I feel much better because my grandson is living on that side," said Mike Hartell. "Taking these drugs off the street and these gangs is really appreciated."
The Valley Little League fields are right in the center of what the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force says is "V-Not" gang territory. On Tuesday several parents said they are hopeful the structure of the gang had been broken and that the quiet, peaceful neighborhood they moved into is on the way back.
"Oh definitely makes you feel safer. Especially for the kids down here," said Kiernan Delay as he walked to his son's baseball game.
As the kids played baseball, parents talked about their gratitude for all the law enforcement agencies who worked together to make the arrests and put together the federal charges.
"Behind the scenes, things that we don't know. We fuss about a lot of it but all of a sudden you see something like this," said Hartell. "It's a good feeling. It really is. Getting those drugs and gangs off the streets."
"V-Not" is the seventh gang the Syracuse Gang Violence Task Force has focused on in recent years.