EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) — The shooting deaths of police officers spiked 78% in the first half of this year. Emporia State football team has decided to put together an evening of events for law enforcement and bring the community together.
After the shootings in Dallas, the Emporia State football team has been thinking of how they can show a change in the U.S. Today they’ve invited law enforcement in Emporia to what they call a “Festival of Fun.” But one player says this was more than just to bring officers together with the team.
“If the community wants to come out and join, we’re hats off to it, but it’s also a team bonding thing too, at the same time,” Emporia State football player, De’Andre Glover said. “So either way it’s good.”
The evening was filled with fun games like swerve ball, bubble soccer and players set up a demolition dome.
“We’ve had an opportunity to go against officers in the first competition…a little knocker ball,” Emporia State football player, Mitchell Foote said. “So, it’s a great feeling to get out there, knock on the officers a little bit, I mean, you know, it’s all good and fun and everything.”
Not only has the football team arranged for fun activities for law enforcement and their team, they’ve also provided them with a nice meal to fuel them for more games on the football field. Officers and firefighters say they felt good to get out of their uniforms and appreciate what the football team planned for them.
“We got a lot of guys coming from all over the country or smaller towns they may not be familiar with,” Emporia Police Officer, Lane Goty said. “It gives us an opportunity to show them that we’re just normal people. We live work and play all in the same town.”
For one firefighter, he’s just looking for a good and friendly competition against Emporia State’s football team.
“The bubble soccer for sure, that’s the one you see on the internet all the time,” Emporia Fireman, Austin Gilliam said. “So, I’ve always wanted to do it. It’ll be exciting to get in there and see how it goes.”
Gilliam says this is something he’s proud to be a part of to set an example for other cities in America.