Law enforcement to come together to play softball, raise funds for youth programs

By: Brian Wells | Metro | Published September 7, 2022

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METRO DETROIT — For the third year, law enforcement agencies will go head-to-head on a softball field to help raise money for youth programs.

The 2022 Battle of the Badges charity softball tournament will kick off at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 17 at Jimmy John’s Field in Utica, when Warren and Sterling Heights police play ball.

Besides competing for bragging rights, the game helps to humanize police officers, said Sterling Heights Police Community Services Bureau Sgt. Aaron Susalla.

“It’s a family-friendly atmosphere (that) allows people and children to kind of get comfortable with police officers, so that way when they do see us out there, they’re more comfortable and more likely to approach us and allow us to help in situations where we need to help them,” he said.

New this year, the Oakland and Macomb sheriff’s offices are joining the event, facing off in the second game, which is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.

“We are very excited for this year’s Battle of the Badges softball game,” Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said in an email. “Having participated in the past several year’s contests, we understand how important it is to not only support these wonderful organizations but to also foster a team spirit within our agency.”

At 2:30 p.m., the winners from the first two games will meet in the championship game.

In addition to softball, there will also be concessions, face painting, mascots, vendor tables, K-9 demonstrations and an opportunity for kids to run the bases.

Tickets for the game cost $15, with children 10 and under being free. Proceeds will go to benefit the Warren Police Athletic League, Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Police Athletic League and the Sterling Heights and Macomb County Sheriff’s Explorer programs.

“These are programs that are geared towards the youth in our communities, to help them build character, build rapport with officers and the community,” Susalla said. “It opens our doors in the Police Department to let these people see what the police field is all about.”

Tickets are available at by searching “Battle of the Badges.”