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A game of kickball to help stop gun violence in Southwest Florida

Posted at 9:15 PM, Nov 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-14 15:43:50-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It is a fun day of kickball, but the meaning behind the day is to stop gun violence in Southwest Florida.

The primetime kickball game was Fort Myers Police Department versus Fort Myers Fire Department.

“I am actually happy they are up, they’re awake now and they came out of the fire station, so that alone is a victory for them," Sgt. Gil Benitez said.

A fierce game of kickball to ultimately win the coveted title of kickball champion.

“Blue all the way. We are going to take home the trophy again," Sgt. Benitez said.

It might be a little game of kickball, but it brings the community together.

The deeper meaning behind the kickball game was to stop gun violence.

“We want to reduce violent crime. Gun violence is something we don’t want to tolerate," Sgt. Benitez said.

The color orange was visible in the crowd. A color to honor victims and survivors of gun violence.

“There is a lot of victims that obviously suffer from that, so we are here to let them know we are out here for them. We want to bring awareness to it and we want to reduce that even more," Sgt. Benitez said.

A growing statistic seen during the pandemic where gun violence increased by more than 30 percent, according to U.S. News.

“Gun violence is prevalent everywhere. It’s not just this city in America. It’s almost every city in America where we are dealing with gun violence, so as a society, we have to come together. As a community, and to say enough is enough and stop it," Curtis Collins, a local filmmaker, said.

A commitment to reduce gun violence within the community and one way was to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community.

“With us doing events like this and bringing awareness that we are here for this community. We want people to know we want to work hand and hand with them. If it takes sports or any kind of events to let you know that we are out here for support and help," Sgt. Benitez said.

Aside from the smack talk and epic plays, the event brought the Fort Myers community together.

The Fort Myers Police Department took home the trophy again.

The heated game was too much for the Fort Myers Fire Department, but they have a chance to redeem themselves next year.