Top lawmen face off for charity

·2 min read

Dec. 3—Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis and Odessa Police Department Chief Michael Gerke will again face off in the battle of the Red Kettle Challenge.

The two local lawmen will ring their bells from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Walmart located at 4210 JBS Parkway.

Gerke said the challenge is for bragging rights between the two local law enforcement agencies, but he explained the real winner is the Salvation Army.

"It's kind of grown into a friendly competition that I always lose and (Griffis) always wins," Gerke said. "It's not about us. Every dime is going to the Salvation Army. Really the Salvation Army wins."

Griffis said he is eager to compete against Gerke again.

The Ector County Sheriff said the OPD chief brings out "McGruff the Crime Dog" and other props to attract more attention.

"I think he's going to bring out more of his props to raise more money than me," Griffis said.

Gerke corrected and said it was "Paw Patrol" last year not "McGruff the Crime Dog" and he said he might bring out those props again.

"We will probably do something like that again," Gerke said.

Griffis said the Ector County Sheriff's Office and the Odessa Police Department have a great relationship and it's strengthened during the holiday season.

"It's a fun competition between friends and it's for a good cause," Griffis said.

Gerke said the friendly competition started when he and Griffis became advisory board members at the Salvation Army. He said this competition helps benefit the Salvation Army in everything they are able to for families in the area.

"It all goes to a very good cause, when you think about the Salvation Army, they help people with the very most basic needs," Gerke said. "It's food, it's shelter, it's clothing. It's things that you just have to have to survive. That's what we are doing this for."

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