Police Pals, Steelers to play for scholarships

Russell Finelsen, Staff Writer, Assistant Editor, Sports Editor

The Police Pals will play again this year against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a basketball game on Friday, March 6 at 8 p.m. The game will be played in the BPHS main gym.

Officer Tom Rigatti is a Police Pal himself. He said: “I am involved with Police Pals as a police officer who visits schools and promotes safety.  I also run some of the additional programs that evolved from Police Pals. [In addition], I am involved because I want to be a part of the program that promotes safety to our children of this community.  I also want the children to know that they can talk to us if they need help.”

Tickets for the game are $7 each if purchased in advance and $9 each at the door.

The profits of the game go toward providing college scholarships for the Sgt. Charles Bonczek/Bethel Park Police Department scholarships as well as the Police Pal program.  The scholarships are awarded to students from Bethel Park who join the Law Enforcement Apprenticeship Program (L.E.A.P.)

“Over the last 6 years we have provided over $20,000 in scholarships,” Officer Rigatti said.

He specified that LEAP is “a program designed for students who have an interest in Law Enforcement as a career.  The speakers that are brought in bring valuable information to each student as how to better prepare for their career choice.  An example of this is if someone is interested in becoming an FBI agent, our FBI speaker will tell students that becoming good with computers, and speaking a foreign language are ways of bettering your chances for employment.”

“Law Enforcement is like industry. They are looking for specialized individuals to work in the ever changing field,” Officer Rigatti added.

Raffle tickets are being sold in order to win a 65″ LCD HDTV, and a Pittsburgh Steeler will pick the winning ticket during the game’s halftime. One does not need to be present to win the prize. In another raffle contest, tickets will be sold during the game for many prizes, including a Steelers Prize Basket. One must be present if they win the prize.

Tickets can be bought at the Evey Hardware on Library Road, the Eat ‘n Park on Library Road, or the Bethel Park Police Records Room on West Library Avenue. For an order form to buy tickets to the game, click here. If a student buys tickets using the form provided, the tickets will be given to the student on March 2.

In addition, there will be a preliminary game. It will include the Bethel Park policemen and firefighters, and they will be pitted against the BPHS teachers and staff.