Central Plains Red Cross has announced Wichita and Sedgwick County law enforcement as the winners of the 19th annual Battle of the Badges, which pits law enforcement and fire departments against each other as blood donors vote on their favorite first responders. Law enforcement won this year, with 446 votes.

“We came out on top, which is great because we don’t have to listen to the firefighters all year,” said Capt. Brenda Dietzman of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire department usually wins the annual competition. “The fire departments always win because everybody likes fire departments, right?” Dietzman said. “They like the big red trucks. We’re one of the few communities that law enforcement actually wins. So it’s great to have that relationship with the community.”

Over the course of 21 days, 967 pints of blood were collected, in addition to 534 units of platelets.

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