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SPD, community team up for hockey

For the second year in a row, Superior police officers and community members grab their sticks and hit the gym for a game of floor hockey.

"We're going to do this and we're going to show that Superior rocks," said Mike Almond of Superior, who helped organize the event.

Last year's floor hockey game at the Superior-Douglas County Family YMCA was such a hit that Almond and Superior Police Officer Joel Markon teamed up for a second year, with the support of sponsors like the YMCA, Bill Stack of Stack Bros., and the China Inn.

"It's really community policing 101," Markon said. "The police officers and community members get to know each other in a light hearted, fun and engaging event which makes life easier for everyone."

Almond said he was surprised by how much he enjoyed watching the young people play hockey last year, and many were eager for a rematch. The aim behind the game was to bring a diverse group of community members together to rub elbows, and hockey sticks, with police.

"To show that Superior is diverse and we get along," Almond said.

YMCA Chief Executive Officer Chris Stenberg said the activity encompasses the organization's three main goals — youth development, healthy living and social responsibility — and showcases its relationship with the police department.

"It's about getting people out to have fun together," Stenberg said, featuring folks from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds.

And it was launched by Almond, a volunteer.

Stenberg plans to join this year's multi-generational players, ranging from age 5 to 90, when they join forces with off-duty officers Wednesday.

"It's a great way to get some amazing exercise while getting to know people in the community," Markon said. "You work as a team on the floor and when you are on the bench, so to speak, waiting to go back out you get to know the other people waiting with you."

Members of the public are encouraged to watch the game, which takes place 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the YMCA.

"It's a chance for community members who might not know or have any reason to interact with police officers to get to see the police in a different light," Markon said.