Tenth annual local ‘Battle of the Badges’ rekindles friendly competition

T-R PHOTOS BY MIKE DONAHEY — Marshall County Sheriff Joel Phillips is pictured donating blood during the 10th annual “Battle of the Badges” event Thursday in the Marshalltown Community Y gym. The event is a friendly competition to count the most blood units donated amongst the staff of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, the Marshalltown Fire Department and the Marshalltown Police Department.

The Marshalltown Community Y gym was the setting for friendly competition Thursday afternoon between the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, the Marshalltown Fire Department and the Marshalltown Police Department.

The scoreboard was blank, no balls were in play, and the only uniforms worn were those of staff from the MCSO, MPD, the MFD and the American Red Cross. The latter were checking in donors and drawing blood.

Everyone was in a good mood, acknowledging that the actual winners of the competition would be blood recipients, while the department which donated the most blood units would get bragging rights.

The MPD won the first “Battle of the Badges,” said Sgt. Paul Heitman of the MPD, who coordinated the event with help from ARC Waterloo office. “However, the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has won the last eight.”

Marshall County Sheriff Joel Phillips, who was present making a donation, said his department was “taking nothing for granted. We are eager to see a good turnout from all three departments for the good of those who need blood, some desperately.”

Sgt. Paul Heitman of the Marshalltown Police Department, left, has a conversation with MPD administrative assistant Anna Vaughn Thursday at the Marshalltown Community Y. Vaughn had just completed her blood donation. The two donated to the American Red Cross as part of the 10th Annual “Battle of the Badges” event.

“The turnout has been good so far,” said Lynet Robinson of the Waterloo ARC.

She was drawing blood from donors while supervising several colleagues.

One colleague was Sarah Watkins, who said she too was pleased with the turnout. The blood drive was also open to the public.

Carol Reeder of Newton made the drive to Marshalltown to donate at the request of the ARC. Reeder is employed as membership director at the YMCA of Newton Iowa Inc.

“I was happy to come today,” she said. “The need for blood is ongoing.”

All uniformed personnel from the three departments were urged to donate, as were valuable civilian support staff, said Heitman.

One civilian support staffer who donated was Anna Vaughn of Le Grand, who is employed as administrative assistant at the MPD.

Deputy Fire Chief Chris Cross of the MFD said his department was pleased to take part.

“We are very happy to partner with the ARC, the MCSO and MPD today for such a good cause. Although we operate differently, we are all brothers wearing shields. There is always a friendly rivalry amongst us,” Cross said.

The results were announced late Thursday night, and the MCSO once again claimed victory for the ninth consecutive year.

For more information about the ARC or donating blood, contact 1-800 RED CROSS.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today