by Chuck Seaver, South Lake Tablet

The Battle of the Badges took place at the Aurelia M. Cole Academy, 150 Pitt Street, Clermont, on December 8th at 6 pm. The annual charity basketball game is a friendly match between Clermont police officers and firefighters versus deputies and corrections officers from the Lake County Sheriff’s Department. Admission price to the game is free but spectators are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to benefit the Christian Men in Action’s annual Christmas Toy Giveaway in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Christian Men in Action is a not-for-profit organization composed of Christian leaders throughout the community who come together to serve the needs of others in the local community.

Opening ceremonies were led by Clermont Mayor Tim Murry and followed by a presentation of the United States flag by the Clermont Battalion Sea Cadets.

The annual game, which the Clermont Police Department (CPD) has declared victory over for four consecutive years, was full of action and scoring by both teams throughout the first half of the game. Although three-point shots were minimal in the first half, both teams commanded a back-and-forth lead up to the halftime buzzer.

Spectators enjoyed a half-time drum and percussion presentation led by the Forest Lake Church Drum Corp, Apopka.

The second half of the match-up revealed two teams that were determined to take the historic championship trophy home. The Lake County Sheriff’s team dominated the early part of the second half with multiple three-point shots. Although the Clermont Police Department’s team rallied with three-point shots and multiple two-pointers, the CPD’s efforts fell short of a victory with a Lake County Sheriff’s team score of 44 over Clermont’s 41.

ThSpectators on both sides of the court enjoyed an exciting game while children of the Lincoln Park Community will enjoy an exciting morning on Christmas Day, thanks to the efforts of both law enforcement agencies, the Lake County School Board, community donations, and Christian Men in Action.

The Clermont Police Department participates in and sponsors many community-related events throughout the year. Visit CPD at for a full listing of events.

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