Local police and firemen play for ‘Peace’

Local police and firemen play for ‘Peace’
November 17
05:00 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



After the violent death of his brother Kermit “Bruce” Piggott in November 1991. Ben Piggott, supervisor of the Carl H. Russell Sr. Community Center, in 1992 created The Peace Toys for War Toys Exchange as a way to provide safe non-violent toys for kids in exchange for violent games and toys.

According to organizers, the program serves as a peaceful means for children and adults to deal with violence. Children are encouraged and given the opportunity to exchange war toys for a free peace toy.  This transforms the minds of children from violent activities into peaceful activities. The program also serves as a community reminder of the number of persons that have lost their lives due to gun violence.

The Winston-Salem Police and Fire Departments have been working with and donating to the charity for years, so they decided to start a basketball game as the first drop off for the toys. Once all collected, the toys will be given away on Dec. 17 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds education building from 1 to 4 pm.

“I’m excited because the whole thing started with my brother being killed but every time I see a kid get a toy, I see him live,” said Piggott. “And not just for my brother, but any kid that’s killed because of senseless violence.  I get joy from seeing a kid smile and pick up the toy and say, I got this from somebody who loves me outside of my family.”

With this being the second year of the basketball game and a healthy rivalry between the Fire and Police departments, the game had the makings of a good one. From the onset both teams appeared to play a little tight.  There were many missed shots and some unforced turnovers initially.

The Police Department was leading during the opening minutes of the game, capitalizing ton the Fire Department’s miscues and turning them into layups. Once everyone got into the groove of the game, the Fire Department settled down and began to run their offense efficiently hitting clutch threes and playing solid defense. At the half, the firemen led the police 33-25.

The firemen began the second half just as they ended the first. The police attempted to close the gap but the firemen thwarted most attempts. Later in the second half, the Police Department closed the margin to within four points. The police inched even closer when they were within two points with 9:42 left in the game. That would be the closest they came because the fireman stretched the lead to seven points to lead 47-40. The fireman would be victorious by the score of 53-46.

“It’s a good thing to see cops and firemen working together and actually have the community see that as well,” said one fireman. “It’s good for them to see us from a different vantage point and not just in gear or uniforms but to see us do things they do, like play basketball, laugh and joke with each other and just have fun.

“If it’s important to Ben, it’s important to all of us, and I’ve been doing this with him for over 20 years,” said a policeman. “I had the pleasure of working foot patrol in Happy Hill when Ben was the director over there, and the fact that we can get some of these violent games off the street is great.”

Another fireman commented, “It’s always good to give back in any capacity that you can. I think its good to give back in multiple ways.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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