By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (July 13, 2021) – Instead of settling in at home to watch baseball, Lansing Police officers and TF South baseball players alike suited up to play a friendly game of softball Tuesday night in an effort to benefit the Lansing community.
The event was the first example of new Lansing Police Chief Al Phillips’ desire to have Lansing Police more involved in the community, as officers, baseball players, village officials, school officials, and family and friends came out to enjoy a warm summer evening.
Although the night was about more than the game at the Lansing Old Timers Sports Complex, the matchup between the officers and baseball players did not disappoint. The two squads’ score remained relatively close for all nine innings, concluding with a hit from Chief Phillips that set up Officer Devin Smith to crush a game-winning triple that rolled nearly to the left field wall at Babe Ruth Field. The final tally was 12-11 favoring LPD.
“That was a lot of fun,” said TF South varsity baseball coach Matt Tiffy after the game. “You look around and everyone had smiles on their faces — policemen and our guys. It was a lot of fun for everyone here.”
As part of Tuesday’s event, Lansing Police collaborated with We Are Lansing, a Lansing non-profit organization, to collect clothes and other items as part of a clothing drive.
“This is step one for us,” Phillips said. “We’re going to keep doing more events like this — more fun events like this. We want to be there for our community, we want them to see who we are and let them know that we’re here for them. We’re here to serve and protect, but we’re also humans. We’re people.”
Phillips became Lansing’s new chief of police in June of this year.
“For us it’s about unity. The division that’s gone on in the country, it’s time to end that. It’s time to get back together,” he said.
Scenes from the ballpark
Old Timers Sports Complex is located at 16700 Chicago Avenue, Lansing, IL. The Lansing Police Department is located at 2710 170th Street, Lansing, IL.