Gardner PD wins 2nd-annual Battle of the Badges

Lynne Hermansen
Gardner News

Gardner residents and their families donated blood for a good cause and a friendly competition Sunday afternoon.

The second-annual Battle of the Badges was a tight race between the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, MedAct, Johnson County Fire District No. 1 and the Gardner Police Department.

At the end of the day, Kacy Deaton, Gardner council member, was the deciding vote that determined Gardner Police Department as the winner over last year’s champion, Fire District No. 1.

Deaton said she was excited to learn that she was the winning vote.

Along with bragging rights, the trophy will remain at the Gardner Justice Center for the next year.

The Battle of the Badges surpassed its 40-pint goal last year by 6 pints. And this year was equally successful, as donors help surpass the 50-pint goal by about the same amount.

Officials said negative-type blood was in low supply and in the highest demand.

Gardner Police Officer John Stimatze said the idea for Battle of the Badges came to fruition after he participated in a similar event while living in Emporia. The Emporia event is one of the biggest blood drives for the Red Cross, Stimatze said.