There was no need for concern when members of the Cedar Rapids Police Department (CRPD) descended on Harding Middle School on Jan. 30. They were there for the eighth annual Kids vs. Cops Dodge Ball Tournament. The event, organized by the Harding Student Council, benefits the CRPD K-9 Unit to assist with the purchase and training of dogs and necessary equipment (such as protective vests) for the dogs.
Officers and students participate in a friendly competition that helps to build relationships and trust between officers and kids. The event allows police officers to meet students on their home court in a non-threatening situation (where it becomes difficult to tell whether the students or the officers are having more fun).
Representatives from the CRPD, including the K-9 unit, participated the tournament, and the dogs were also on site.
“With almost 700 students participating, this was another very successful fundraiser for the K-9 unit,” noted James Franta, student leadership coordinator at Harding. “With this year’s effort, the students of Harding Middle School have surpassed the $16,000 mark in money raised for the K-9 unit”