When Hillsboro's police officers and firefighters take to the turf at Ron Tonkin Field on Aug. 5, the Hillsboro Police Department has a score to settle.
The firefighters lead the all-time slowpitch softball series 3-zip, a stat Hillsboro Fire Department spokesperson Bruce Montgomery was quick to point out.
"Bruce is talking smack," Hillsboro Police spokesperson Henry Reimann said. "I would hope we give them a run for their money this year."
The game is part of the Hillsboro Hops' Local Heroes Night, one of dozens of promotions throughout the month of August. The two departments square off at 10:30 a.m. and return with a handful of vehicles for the 5 p.m. game against Vancouver.
Last year was the first game featuring full police and fire teams and the event hasn't always been well-attended, but the Hops staff enjoys the morning regardless.
"We have the front office staff do the PA and umpiring and music," Hops General Manager KL Wombacher said. "It's fun for the front office staff to get involved in the game, and it's a 'thanks for your service.' Come out to the field, play a softball game and have some fun."
Reimann said the close relationship between Hillsboro Police and Hillsboro Fire makes for an entertaining ballgame. The two organizations train together, and the game is "an extension of the partnership we have," Reimann said.
Training together helps the departments trust one another, even in tense situations, Reimann said. It also helps to have dedicated police and fire departments in Hillsboro, he said, because it allows officers and firefighters to work with the same people day in and day out.
The game often draws coworkers to the stands, even if they never take the field.
"It's a great time for police and fire to get together other than on a scene or in training and have some fun," Montgomery said.