Kids and cops have fun on court

CASCADE LOCKS -- Police patrolled the lane but could not stop the speedy kids on Feb. 21.

This time, no tickets were issued. The face-off was a basketball game and fun was had by all in the second annual benefit for the Cascade Locks chapter of Oregon Student Safety on the Move (OSSOM).

The student/staff/alumni team earned the citation with an come-from-behind 84-76 victory over the law enforcement team at the Cascade Locks School gym before a crowd of about 100 people.

The officers came out to help OSSOM raise money for its first-ever trip to the state convention, in April.

"Having the cops here gives a lot of recognition to the program," said Lindsay Clement, student body president. "And it brings the community together."

"It's cool," student Jeremy Evans said. "I like it. We're having fun. We figured (the police) wouldn't hustle as much as we did, but they're outhustling us. So far." That was at half-time, when the officers had a 41-28 lead. But the school team put together a fourth-quarter spurt to win.

Both sides tried hard to win, but the main idea was to have fun.

OSSOM advisor Kim Vogel, a language arts teacher, gave a spirited running commentary throughout the game.

"Perseverance pays!" she said after the officers wrestled four straight offensive rebounds and then scored.

"They do road blocks, and they block shots, too!" Vogel said after a good defensive play by the police.

"It's another opportunity for us to interact," Hood River Police Chief Tony Dirks said, sweat running down his face at half-time. "They get to make fun of us, and we get to relate at a human level."

"It's good for the community," Hood River officer Sal Rivera said. "It shows people we're out here taking time for the school and to have a good time with the kids."

The game was just part of the fun in the second-annual event. There was a bake sale downstairs, and the half-time slam dunk contest drew about 20 contestants won by sixth-grader Alex Rose.

Adding to the law enforcement team were Hood River officers Erin Mason, Mike Martin, Community Resource Officer Aaron Jubitz, Oregon State Police troopers Thad Routson, Dave Anderson, Craig Gunderson, and Mitch Hicks of Columbia River Intertribal Fisheries Enforcement. Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler served as slam dunk contest judge, along with School Resource Officer Tiffany Hicks, who helped Vogel coordinate the event.

"I'm rooting for the kids," said Tiffany, who works in the schools. But at one point, when her husband Mitch scored a basket, she took the microphone from Vogel and said, "let's hear it for my sweetie!"

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