Cops vs. Firefighters in Miramar’s Battle of the Badges on April 20th

Miramar, April 20th

April is National Autism Awareness Month which promotes autism awareness, autism acceptance, and draws attention to the tens of thousands facing an autism diagnosis each year. In honor of the dedicated month, Community Resource Officer (CRO) Joseph Drew from the Miramar Police Department along with Firefighter Gina Hudson from Miramar Fire-Rescue have organized the third annual “Battle of the Badges” charity softball competition.

Drew started this event because his 4-year-old son Ayden was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at the early age of 1 ½. The officer and his wife immediately became involved with Autism Speaks, a national advocacy organization which sponsors research, conducts awareness and outreach for families, governments, and the public.

The Drew family wanted to do their part and they began participating in fundraiser walks and such to create awareness. The devoted officer along with multiple members of both the police and fire department have children that are diagnosed on the spectrum. Not only does the event raise funds but it also helps to raise awareness for first responders and the need for ongoing training on how to handle emergency calls that involve children and adults with autism.

“With the fire department and police department, we are coming in contact more and more with people on the spectrum. As a father with a child on the spectrum, something like this is extremely important to get everyone involved. I do this simply to raise awareness. Each year we have been able to make the event bigger and raise more money,” stated CRO Drew.

Last year Miramar’s prominent public departments raised approximately $2,500 to support Autism Speaks in the 2nd annual “Battle of the Badges” competition. Together the police and fire duo have raised close to $5,000 since its inception. This year they plan to hit autism out of the park again at the 3rd annual event on April 20th at the Silver Lakes Sports Complex.

“The relationship between our fire department and the police department is strong. We do multiple events together throughout the year, but the ‘Battle of the Badges’ is unique in that we are able to raise money and further spread awareness of autism. We choose this particular cause because there are many of us who have someone on the spectrum that is near and dear to us,” explained Hudson.

Approximately 150 people attended the 2018 fundraiser. Besides raising much-needed funds, everyone is invited to come out and enjoy the fun day while increasing awareness for autism.

The 3rd Annual Battle of the Badges will be held on April 20th at the Silver Lakes Sports Complex, 17450 SW 23rd Street, Miramar, 33029 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. To learn more about autism, please visit