This is one call where the Fresno Police Department did not mind coming up short.
Members of the department’s Southwest District took on the Southwest community in a friendly display of fellowship in what was billed as the inaugural Community Flag Football Game on Wednesday at Edison High School.
Police wore shirts emblazoned with the mantra “Support Blue.” The community team’s shirts paid tribute to Tony Perry, the longtime community advocate and former Edison football assistant who died in November.
The result: Stop the Violence and Fresno EOC Street Saints 27, Southwest Police 0.
There was a pregame prayer, with both sides standing in a circle and players either joining hands or placing their hands on one another’s shoulders.
“It’s always been a stigma, us versus them,” Pastor Joby Jones said ahead of the game. “So now we’re trying to get some kind of understanding and seeing how we can work together to better support each other in our community.”
“And we’re planning on winning, so we don’t plan on losing.”
Each team boasted ringers.
The Street Saints’ Marte Sears, a former McLane High and College of the Sequoias star who went on to play for Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., and sign as an undrafted free agent with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns in 2015, had an interception.
Police players included Lee Harris, a Hoover High and Fresno State alum who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. In 2014, Harris showed he had something left when he tackled a teen fleeing the scene of a suspected residential burglary.