Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke and Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis collected donations for the Salvation Army at Walmart Saturday afternoon
ODESSA, Texas — You know Christmas is the time for bell ringers. Two top dogs in law enforcement went head to head on Saturday afternoon to see who’s bell rang loudest.
Odessa Police Chief Mike Gerke and Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis were at the Walmart on JBS Parkway in Odessa to collect donations for the Salvation Army.
Griffis told NewsWest 9 the two law enforcement agencies collaborate on the workforce but also for a special cause.
“Our agencies get along great together and the chief and I are part of the advisory board of the Salvation Army,” said Griffis. “We are just trying to raise money for a great cause and help those less fortunate than we are.”
Gerke said the friendly competition started a few years ago after both officers volunteered during the Christmas season.
“Every year they have the kettle campaign and we both participated in that then” said Gerke. “We decided one year we were out here who can do better than than the other, so that’s how this was born.”
Griffis and Gerke explained it is a tradition they both enjoy because it helps raise money for those in need in West Texas.
“There is a lot of people here in our community who need help with food, shelter, coats and things like that,” said Griffis.
“The vast majority of this money stays in the Permian Basin to help those people that need it the most,” said Gerke.
The people at the store who were shopping or donating also got the chance to pictures with the Grinch and Chase from Paw Patrol.
Overall, the officers remain hopeful that this small competition serves its purpose which is to help the community.
“I still want to win and he wants to win and whoever wins will brag about it and rub it on the other person and that is okay,” said Gerke. “But if that competition helps us raise more money then that just blesses thousands people who need it.”
At the moment, how much money was raised is still unknown. Those totals will be released Monday.