Battle of the Badges raises money for special olympics

Dylan McManis

Local law enforcement used flag football to raise money for the Kansas special olympics during their 12th annual Battle of the Badges event on Nov 8.

Every year, the Topeka Police Department and the Topeka Fire Department compete in a game of flag football in order to raise money for Kansas special olympics. This year, they decided to bring in the Shawnee county Sheriff’s office as well as the Kansas Highway Patrol.

Originally a controversy over members of the flag football team moving over to the other offices, having two more teams allowed the event to become a tournament instead of a singular game.

“It started as just a friendly fun competition to bring the two departments together,” said Sgt. Jayme Green of the Topeka Police Department. “It lets us know we’re not as young as we used to be. Take an afternoon to play a game of flag football and then we usually go out to Glory Days Pizza afterwards.”

In the first round of the tournament, the Topeka Fire Department beat the Topeka Police Department 14-6, and the Sheriff’s office won their game against the Kansas Highway Patrol 12-6.

The final match was held pitting the winners of the two matches, the Fire Department and the Sheriff’s office, against each other. At the end of the day, the Topeka Fire Department came out on top, winning 12-0.

The event also had several important guest groups show up. A group of local special olympics participants performed on the sidelines of the games as cheerleaders. The local special olympics softball team was recognized for their accomplishments during one of the halftimes as well. And, during the halftime of the final game, the Topeka High drum line performed.

“We also run the torch run in the spring to raise money for special olympics. We have a good crowd this year, but we would always like to get more people out here,” said Sgt. Kiley Rice of the Shawnee county Sheriff’s office.

The event is held every year at Yager stadium and while it doesn’t cost money to get in to the event, they do appreciate it if you give a small donation or at least participate in the silent auction and raffle.