Mobile’s police and fire departments battled it out on the basketball court tonight celebrating some new lights. Players will no longer have to use their headlights to see what they are doing on the court. New lights installed at Herndon Park on Sage Avenue are brightening things.
District 1 city councilman Fred Richardson said it was amazing to see the lights come on for the first time. “I felt energized all over. This is a dream come true. We were working on this for about two years. We’ve finally brought it to pass.”
The lights will give kids more time on the court. Police say it could also keep them out of trouble.
“We’ll know where they are, so that’s a good thing, and as long as they’re out here playing ball that’s usually a good thing,” said Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste. “A lot of these kids are working on their skills for high school or things of that nature, so we’re just happy that this is a good atmosphere and a good location for them to be at.”
Chief Battiste says the lights also help make the surrounding area safer.
“Lighting gives a sense of security and so the added lighting will give the rest of this community a sense of security. You know over on the soccer fields you see the lighting over there, and so it will help us deter crime in some situations as well.”
While the lights may add safety to the community, Battiste says they’re not going to help the Fire Department on the court.
“Man, when they get home tonight, they’re going to need their wives to put Ben Gay on them and they’re going to need somebody to douse them down with water,” said Battiste.
The chief wasn’t entirely right about his prediction. The fire department beat the police department, 42-29.
Chief Battiste says they play to turn the lights off at 10 pm every night, giving the players a little more time to practice their shot.