North Caldwell Police beat out local police and fire departments for the Battle of the Badges softball title last weekend in a tournament that raised about $7,000 for injured veterans.
North Caldwell, Cedar Grove and Verona police and fire departments competed against one another at Veteran’s Field in Verona on Saturday in the annual tournament. The softball tournament raised funds for the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting and advocating for veterans.
In addition, the tournament was held in honor Sgt. Derek McConnell, of North Caldwell, who died in March from wounds suffered in Afghanistan.
While the Battle of the Badges has been an annual tournament for years, this was the first time North Caldwell was invited to participate.
“For all of us, for police and firemen together, it was a day to bond, have a good time, but more importantly raise money for an organization that is near and dear to our hearts,” said North Caldwell Police Chief Mark Deuer.
“It was bitter sweet that we were able to donate the money in his [McConnell’s] honor,” said Deuer, who added that many in the department knew McConnell.
After the North Caldwell Police beat the North Caldwell Fire Department, the officers went on to triumph over Cedar Grove firefighters. North Caldwell then beat Verona police officers 23-14 to take the title.