Cove PD bests fire department in Battle of the Badges
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Copperas Cove Police Department and Fire Department came together for a good cause Saturday evening when they played basketball in a Battle of the Badges held in the Copperas Cove High School Gym #2.
Spectators were asked to bring a donation of school supplies or non-perishable snack food items that would be given to the Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary Communities in Schools program and the Hettie Halstead Elementary STEM club.
The police department team wore blue jerseys while the fire department team wore white. Parks and Recreation Superintendent Nic Cantrell played on the police team, while the fire team got assistance from CCPD Chief Eddie Wilson’s daughter, Alex, and Demarius Keys, who works for facility maintenance.
Once the game started, the FD team held at least a four-point lead over the PD team for the first half of the game. By the end of the first half, the score was 25-32 with the FD still leading. After a brief three-minute break, during which children stormed the court to play with the balls, players of both teams returned and Cove PD steadily worked to gain on the fire department. With less than 10 minutes left in the last half, the police team had gained a seven-point lead over the fire team with a score of 53-46. By the time the buzzer rang, CCPD won the game 64-59.
Copperas Cove Fire Lt. Alan Mainville said that the games between the fire department and police departments started in 2012 as a way to unify the two departments and provide an opportunity for the members of each to get to know one another. They’ve done softball, football, volleyball and dodgeball before Saturday’s basketball game. Each event has been connected to a fundraiser of some sort, with the previous one being to support the Copperas Cove Blue Santa program last December.
“We try to get our guys involved, try to get the community to be aware of it so that they can come out and support the programs that are in our community,” Mainville said. “As firefighters and police officers, you know, we feel we’re supposed to be an example of the leaders in the community, so that’s what we try to do is set an example, especially to our youth out there so they know what we’re all about.”
Halstead assistant principal Billie Diaz was very appreciative of the donation and said the event and the donation were amazing.
Diaz spoke with CCPD Sgt. Dominique Moore, whose children attended Halstead Elementary, about the STEM club needing supplies, she said.
“There’s a lot of stuff that our teachers buy out of pocket, I’m sure everybody knows that,” Diaz said.
Teachers end up buying snacks and other items for their classrooms for themselves and all of the clubs are funded by faculty and staff, so any donation is a blessing, Diaz added.
In addition to the donation, Diaz was also glad that the students would be able to see first responders in a positive light, she said.
Moore explained that the event was just another way to show how much more involved in their community the police department is.
“With Chief Wilson taking over, we’ve changed to a geographical policing model which is more community oriented,” Moore said.
Moore said that the game was originally scheduled for closer to the beginning of the school year but that he was activated for Hurricane Harvey relief and the game was postponed.
“The goal is, our school district is really great to all of our kids,” Moore said. “I have young kids and I know that the teachers do a lot of work to try and give kids the best educational situation as possible and they come out of pocket for a lot of things- school supplies, snacks and things like that, so we just wanted to do our part and try and help out with that as much as possible.”
The next Battle of the Badges is scheduled to be held in December but a date was not given.