The second annual 'First Responder Softball Challenge'

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MIDLAND, Tx. (KOSA) - First responders from both Odessa and Midland came together to show the Permian Basin they are still, and will forever stand strong.

The idea behind the ‘First Responder Softball Challenge,’ started as a friendly game between Odessa and Midland first responders.

Police officers, firefighters and other first responders from West Texas laced up their cleats, threw on their gloves and came together to bat all for a greater cause.

The idea behind the ‘First Responder Softball Challenge,’ started as a friendly game between Odessa and Midland first responders.

Sergeant Michael Chandler with the Midland Police Department said because of last year’s great turn out and this months tragic events the responders decided to play ball for a second year.

“It shows that something like that can’t stop our relations. We are still going to keep going forward with business as usual but it also gives us a chance to come back together and be strong together,” said Sgt. Chandler.

Sgt. Chandler said allowing community members to see them in a different uniform only helps mend the bridge between law enforcement and citizens.

“By them seeing us on a personal level, outside the office, seeing us out here cracking up with one another and having fun. We are here to support the community. We obviously serve the community and we want to have a strong bond with the community,” said Sgt. Chandler.

District Attorney, Laura Nodolf said a strong bond between the community and first responders lets people see and know the human side to the ones people call during their times of need.

“Men and women in uniform, whether it be police department or fire department that we also have to remember that they have families and their family members are here and they are real individuals,” said Nodolf.

Tickets to get into the homerun derby and softball game were only $5 dollars and all proceeds are going to be divided between all the fire and police associations in both Midland and Odessa.

Nodolf said even after 3 weeks she is proud to see the Permian Basin community still standing strong and supporting local first responders.

“They recently dealt with such a tragic situation. That to be able to come out here as a community both Ector County, Midland County, Odessa Police Department, Midland Police Department, to come together as a community and have a little bit of fun,” said Nodolf.

Organizers said the stands were loud and filled with fans coming from all over.

Sergeant Chandler said events like this are the perfect example of how the West Texas community comes out and stands tall.