The City of Riverside honors Deaf Awareness Week with an annual softball game between the Police Department and the Deaf community

RIVERSIDE (KABC) — If you thought the crowd watching this softball game seemed pretty calm, then you’re right. Not for lack of excitement, but because the player from one of the teams involved is deaf.

In the run-up to Deaf Awareness Week, members of Riverside’s deaf community competed against the Riverside Police Department. It’s something they did for years… until the pandemic.

“After a two-year hiatus, we haven’t had a game since and we finally got together, so it was nice to see them,” said Riverside Deaf Community Mark Anderson.

“I’m in my 30th year with the department. I don’t know how many games I’ve played over the years, but it’s always a good time,” said Riverside Police Dept. Chief Larry Gonzalez. “They don’t like to lose, we don’t like to lose.”

The softball game was just the beginning. Events are planned in Riverside during Deaf Awareness Week.

“For events like murals, we have the museum here to bring our work in here,” Anderson said.

Jon Savage is a deaf artist from San Diego.

“I’ve included six different hidden features of Riverside’s history here,” Savage said.

Of course, this isn’t the first time Riverside’s deaf community has been in the news. How can we forget the deaf high school football team that went to the state championship game last year?

“This coverage was very uplifting. She caused a lot of excitement in the community. It was a little overwhelming for us,” Anderson said.

At Hunter Hobby Park, the game of softball was competitive.

“We got about the third inning and it was a tie, it was a tie in the fourth inning; we made some mistakes in the fifth inning,” Anderson said. “They knew we had a weakness and I think they won the game 19-9.”

But as they say, it’s not who wins or who loses.

“If you’re a Riverside police officer, you’re going to handle more than one call involving the deaf in your career,” Chief Gonzalez said. “So it’s important for us to maintain this working relationship with our deaf community.”

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https://abc7.com/deaf-awareness-week-community-all-good-news-riverside-police-department/12252456/ The City of Riverside honors Deaf Awareness Week with an annual softball game between the Police Department and the Deaf community

Laura Coffey

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