When dust settles, someone will be out

When a verbal battle between police departments plays out there will be a clear victor.

Published March 30, 2007

Trash talking between the Largo and Clearwater police departments is getting ugly.

The main combatants: Largo police Chief Lester Aradi and Clearwater police spokesman Wayne Shelor.

For the past few days, the two have slayed each other via e-mail and in comments to reporters. But when pressed for an explanation, both refused to say what prompted their war of words.

You'll see, both said cryptically. We will settle this all later.

"Wayne can talk the talk, but can he walk the walk," Aradi asked Thursday, gleefully throwing another barb at Shelor.

Shelor's retort: "I think the facts indicate that neither the chief nor his team can 'walk the walk.' They stumble."

Thursday, sorting through the insults and innuendo, the Times uncovered the real source of the feigned friction: a charity softball game between the two police departments.

Congrats, gentlemen. Your efforts to create buzz worked.

The game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. April 20 at Bright House Networks Field at Drew Street and U.S. 19 in Clearwater. Tickets are $16.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the family of Clearwater police Officer John Schmidt, whose infant daughter was born with serious health problems and needs open heart surgery.