Long Island police officers play in basketball tournament to raise money for kids in need
Police officers across Long Island competed against each other for a worthy cause Saturday at the second annual Child Advocacy Basketball Tournament in Hempstead.
They played to raise awareness and money to help protect children in Suffolk County. The game was held at Island Garden on Cherry Valley Avenue in West Hempstead.
"Everybody's a winner because everybody came here to support a great cause. So at the end of the day, we're all winners," said Andrea Ramos-Topper, division director of EAC Network.
The Suffolk County Police Department played against the Nassau County Police Department and New York State Police went against the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department.
"This is what we do in law enforcement. We help people. Everybody here raised their right hand and said, 'I'm here to protect and serve and make sure we help people who are being victimized,'" said Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison.
All funds raised at the event will benefit EAC Network's Suffolk Child Advocacy Center. The name of the network stands for empower, assist, care.
"We provide a child friendly, neutral and safe environment where children who are victims of sexual abuse can be brought to be interviewed, to be medically examined," Ramos-Topper said.
In the tournament, Suffolk County police and New York State Police were victorious. But the officers said it did not matter who won or lost because it was all about the children.
"We put a charity game together for the Child Advocacy Center of Long Island…A really great time. Great cause," said New York State Police Department Lt. Joshua Stahl.
The EAC Network said an event like this brings them one step closer to reducing the revictimization of child sexual and physical abuse and increasing the help they can give to families dealing with this crisis.
Anyone in need of these services can visit the EAC Network website.