On Wednesday, Bloomfield police officers play softball against a visiting team. Not a big deal until you realize that the team is visiting from over 1,500 miles away.
For the second time, Bloomfield law enforcement faces off against their counterparts from Puerto Rico on the softball field.
Organized by Third Ward Councilman Carlos Bernard, the game with the Puerto Rican Law Enforcement team is meant as a way to boost morale for police and to reach out to Bloomfield’s Hispanic population. Bernard said the previous year’s game was a big hit with Puerto Rican locals, with residents packing bleachers with straw hats and Puerto Rican flags.
“They love it,” Bernard said. “They see the culture come in and say ‘what’s next.’”
Bernard said he became interested in having the Puerto Rican Law Enforcement team play in Bloomfield after hearing that they were taking on teams in Newark and other municipalities. With Bloomfield’s significant Latin population, Bernard said the inaugural game was a success despite communication challenges.
“It was a fun game,” Bernard said. “The cops didn’t speak English but they had a translator.”
The game takes starts at Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Pulaski Park. Admission is free.