On April 27th and 28th, the Phoenix Police Department Traffic Bureau hosted the 16th Annual Southwest Police Motorcycle Training & Competition. As always, the public was invited to view this dynamic display of motorcycle skills at no charge, with over a thousand in attendance. During the event, competing motor officers ride a cone course, where they are clocked for time. They are then assessed penalties for cone touches, cones knocked down, putting a foot down, or dropping their motorcycles. The event also featured pair riding, where two motorcycles are tethered together by a break away cord, a slow riding event, and a four man team event.
The Southwest Police Motorcycle Training & Competition was started in 1997 by the Tucson Police Department. The initial intent was to bring motorcycle police officers together in an exchange of training techniques, while competing in a friendly skills competition. The organizers, however, wanted to do more. As a result they decided that SPMTC should also be a fund raiser. Special Olympics Arizona, through the Law Enforcement Torch Run, became the charity of choice.
In order to reduce the work load on any one agency, it was decided that SPMTC would rotate between several different agencies. A few years later in 2000, the Phoenix Police Department hosted its first SPMTC event. Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department joined the rotation in 2001. For the past decade SPMTC has rotated between the Tucson Police Department, Phoenix Police Department and Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Each department has taken great pride in their ability to raise money for Special Olympics, while providing an entertaining venue for the public.
Why Special Olympics?
Although it may not be well known, Special Olympics has been the charity of choice for law enforcement departments around the world. Without the help of law enforcement agencies, these Special Olympic Athletes would not be able to participate in organized sports. Their participation promotes self confidence, team work and a feeling of acceptance. Since it’s inception in 1997, SPMTC events have raised nearly $400,000 for Special Olympics through the Law Enforcement Torch Run.