Officer Jim Hill attacks quarterback Alejandro Barranca at a Maricopa County practice on April 16, 2023. (Photo by Dylan DeVlieger)

Mesa Community College to host 12th annual Battle of Badges on April 29th

The 12th annual Battle of the Badges Hope Charity Flag Football will pit first responders from Pinal and Maricopa county against each other to benefit fallen officers, as well as help benefit students pursuing a first responder career. The game will take place at 7:00 p.m.on April, 29 at John D Riggs Stadium on the Southern and Dobson campus of Mesa Community College.

Arizona Law Enforcement Outreach and Support  is a group that helps connect the community and law enforcement using proactive community policing programs. 

The organization has many other events, including, “Shop with a Cop” and the “Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl”. 

Each year, the event helps officers who have been injured in the line of duty, and this year is no different as two local officers will benefit from the proceeds of the event.

Gilbert Police Officer Rico Aranda was involved in an incident in April of 2022 that left him with a traumatic brain injury after he was struck by a vehicle during a police pursuit.

Scottsdale Sergeant Scott Galbraith was shot in Jan. of 2022 while serving a warrant in downtown Phoenix.

The event also benefits students who are seeking to become a first responder, as during the game, four students will each receive a $250 scholarship.

This will be the third time Maricopa and Pinal county will meet in the event, as Maricopa county has taken the win in both of their prior two matchups.

In addition to the game, there will be family fun activities, as well as equipment that first responders use so that children can see what is used on a daily basis in law enforcement. 

The goal for the event is to be a fun time for everyone in the family. 

Food will also be served as food trucks will be on site just in case those in attendance get hungry.

“We want to make it a fun thing for the families to come out and make a day of it, we’re going to have some food trucks come out,” said Officer Hill.

The game between MCC students and alumni versus GCU students and alumni will start at 5:30 p.m., and the game between Pinal and Maricopa county will begin at 7:00 p.m. 

A five dollar donation is requested for admission however MCC students and staff are free.

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