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Temperatures in the mid- 90s did little to deter the enjoyment of Hooksett police and fire department members during Tuesday night's game. (Benjamin C. Klein/Union Leader)

Safety Cup

Hooksett police win Safety Cup game

HOOKSETT — In a hard- fought contest in 90 degree heat, the town's police defeated the fire department, 15-9, in the second annual Safety Cup softball game.

Temperatures in the mid- 90s did little to deter the enjoyment of Hooksett police and fire department members during Tuesday night's game.

With annual bragging rights and even a trophy on the line, the two departments were not above a little gamesmanship. The police arrived first and chose the shady dugout, leaving the firefighters to overheat in the sun. However, the firefighters openly flaunted their water superiority, drinking gallons of water to stay hydrated while police sweated.

"We're here to have a good time, and obviously we want to win. We have a great relationship, but according to us, the police are always better. I am sure they would say the same thing. It's always good to have a little razzing between the two teams," Lt. Mike Lebreque said.

Officer Paul Mueller joked that while the two departments have a good relationship, fire departments and police departments will always be natural rivals.

"There is always a rivalry. You grow up wanting to be one or the other. And while they are different jobs, they are the same in that we both actively risk our lives to help people," Mueller said.

Lebreque added that along with being fun, the game benefits the Hooksett Food Pantry. The two departments encouraged spectators to bring canned goods to donate.

"And it is good that people also see us as normal guys just having fun, when usually they only see us under the worst circumstances," Lebreque said.

Despite the natural rivalry, Michael Benoit of the fire department said both departments have no problem getting along.

"(The police department) are all great guys, and it's nice to see them taking time out of their busy days to have some fun on a really hot day. We are both very friendly departments," Benoit said.

Officer Brian Williams, with a few others, was the driving force behind the game. He said that while the game is for fun, the police department still has every intention of maintaining its bragging rights over the fire department.

"We won last year, and we want to win again this year," he said.

Williams was also careful to mention that the game, no matter how competitive, still serves as an excellent team building tool for the two departments.

"It really does help build up camaraderie between us," he said.

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