For the third consecutive year, Battle of the Badges will host its annual Law Enforcement Basketball Tournament this Friday and Saturday at the Emily K Center, 904 W. Chapel Hill St.
Battle of the Badges was created in 2000 by Wake County Detention Officer Jerome Hall to raise scholarship money for college-bound youth in underprivileged areas nationwide, and to honor law enforcement officers who have died, according to a news release. The two-day “battle” also serves as an opportunity for officers from all aspects of law enforcement, and their supporters, to gather for friendly competition.
This year’s Battle of the Badges honors Durham Police officer Elbert Mitchell III, who died in a motorcycle accident in May 2011 in Myrtle Beach, SC. The inaugural Battle of the Badges, a decade ago was held in Baltimore in honor of Maryland State Trooper Corporal Edward M. Toatley, killed in the line of duty. For the last two years, the event was held in Raleigh.
The teams scheduled to compete in this year’s “battle” are from New York, Durham, Mecklenburg County (NC), Atlanta, Prince George’s County (MD) and Connecticut. Since it began, Battle of the Badge has raised close to $10,000 in scholarship money for students at a Maryland high school.
“This event is about more than just playing basketball to me,” Hall, the event founder and organizer, said in the release. “It also provides scholarships for worthy students to continue their education, and brings professional men and women together to play a sport they love.”
The Emily K Center, named in honor of the mother of Duke University basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, opened in 2006. The Center serves academically-focused, low-income students with out-of-school programs designed to help them achieve in school, attend college, and break cycles of family poverty.