Representatives from law enforcement, judicial, education and other groups in Monroe, Ralls counties to lace up basketball shoes for charity event

Team members representing Monroe and Ralls counties will hit the basketball court at Mark Twain Senior High School on Saturday, Jan. 12 to carry the Battle of the Cuffs charity tradition into Ralls County for the first time.

Perry Police Chief Eddie Landis said he and Missouri State Park Ranger Corporal Doug Buie started Battle of the Cuffs six years ago when he worked with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office. Over the past years, the tournament rotated among Paris and South Shelby schools, and Landis hopes that the first year in Ralls County could also lead to growth into a tournament featuring several area teams. Landis said Monroe County and Ralls County team members will donate proceeds from free will donations to local cancer support organizations and local Relay for Life efforts.

Landis said he enjoys the chance each year for “having fun and doing it for a good cause.”

“I love sports in general, and just getting out there with other guys... it turns into a pretty competitive game,” he said.

Landis said law enforcement officials and representatives from other community groups have come together for the competition: Ralls County's team includes members of the Perry Police Department, City of Perry, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Ralls County Sheriff's Office, New London Police Department and a Mark Twain Senior High School graduate. Monroe County's team includes players representing the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, Shelbina Police Department, Missouri State Park Rangers, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Monroe County Prosecutor's Office and Paris R-II School.

The Battle of the Cuffs basketball game is free of charge, and free will donations will be collected. Doors at the Mark Twain Senior High School Gymnasium will open at 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, and the game will begin at about 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served by Mark Twain Senior High School Project Prom members.

To learn more about this year's Battle of the Cuffs game, search for Battle of the Cuffs Basketball on Facebook.

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com