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Summer Block Parties: West Side


Our fifth and final block party finished with a fitting flourish: a hot dog eating contest between Columbus Division of Police and Columbus Division of Fire. We had an officer, a firefighter, and cadets from police and fire participate. At first, we thought the CPD cadet was going to pull it out. He dipped his dog in water like he was a food competition pro.


The challenge seemed simple: first to eat five hot dogs and their buns, was the victor, but it was not so easy. Nor was it fast. It took over five minutes for victory to be declared. You can watch the whole thing here.


You can also see our firefighter friend try to engage in some hilarious shenanigans around the 4:40 mark, and some kids HEATEDLY call him out on it. However, CPD took home the trophy, and Chief Elaine Bryant was there to high-five the victor, Officer Kevin Chirnside, as were multiple kids from the neighborhood he patrols. His fellow Safe Streets officers even treated him to an ice bath.


Glenwood Community Center Manager TD Dishmon is sure that this was the best of the five block parties, and we are so grateful to him and his staff for hosting us. We had a great time having sack races and playing basketball and other games with the kids of the West Side. Our friends from CPD's SWAT and Mounted units came out, which everyone loved, and Lieutenant Nick Tabernick from Dublin Police also joined us for his second block party. Maybe we'll be able to do one of these with our friends up north soon?


We had a big water balloon battle, and of course, the dunk tank was a huge hit as always. Zed Key from the Ohio State University Men's Basketball team took a turn at trying to sink Starfish Board Member and CPD Deputy Chief Tim Becker, actually, and there was a tiny boy who had an arm on him like a grown man. He told us later he plays travel baseball--68mph fastball!


What a way to end a great month of community and unity. A HUGE thank you to Byers Auto Group and Lindsey Tinsley for making these events possible. Thanks to Roosters and G&J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, for the food and drinks. Thanks to all the officers who dedicated their time, love, and energy to make all this happen, and to the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department personnel, 614cadets, other city employees, Starfish volunteers, community advocates, and attendees who all played a role in making these events wonderful for everyone. We appreciate all of you very much!