Police chiefs from rival towns make friendly football wager to benefit charity

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The police chiefs of neighboring Essex County towns have made a friendly wager over a high school football game – one that will benefit charity no matter who wins.

The rivalry between Verona and Cedar Grove is intense but friendly. And both towns are fired up about Friday’s high school football game – a matchup between the two teams. But this time there is a little something extra on the line.

Verona Police Chief Christopher Kiernan says that the bet was Verona Detective Joel Martin's idea. If Verona wins, Cedar Grove Police Chief Joseph Cirasa must donate 10 bags of food for Verona Fights Hunger Week.

And according to Cedar Grove police's Facebook page, if they win, Verona's chief must donate to the educational fund for the children of Cedar Grove resident Allison Walton who recently passed away.

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"We share a great relationship between the police departments and this is an opportunity to highlight two core values Verona and Cedar Grove has, and that's a commitment to our youth programs and a heavy involvement in taking care of one another,” Kiernan says.

The rivalry has remained friendly – but with a little ribbing on the side.

"I'll see you Friday night,” Cirasa says to Kiernan. “I'll be counting the money for the Waltons."

To which Kiernan jokingly responded, “I didn't know he could count…Looking forward to it.”

The chiefs also made another side bet – the chief from the losing township must also buy a meal for the winning township’s police department.

The departments are also getting the community involved by asking for donations from them as well. More information can be found on the Cedar Grove Police Department's Facebook page.


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