Officers come together to ride, learn and compete in support of St. Jude

Officers come together to ride, learn and compete in support of St. Jude
Photo provided by staff

POSTED: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 6:00pm

UPDATED: Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 6:04pm

Over a hundred law enforcement officers from across the nation are in Gonzales all in support of St. Jude Children's Hospital. The thing is, these officers are all special because they don’t ride covered up they ride in the open road.

The 15th Annual Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Competition is underway.

"We look at each other and want to beat each other but we will help each other out," said Cpl. Mike Richard of the Baton Rouge Police Department.

It’s a competition with a completely different twist. All the officers are actually working together to improve as motorists.

"We call it competition but it’s just being a better rider,” said Chief Deputy Tony Bacala from the Acension Parish Sheriff’s Office. “So out here you get to test your skills and find out just how good you are against top riders form around the country."

During the competition they are most importantly raising money for those in need.

“It’s a warm feeling to know the money raised here go to such a good cause saves lives of our youth," noted Bacala.

And Baton Rouge Police Officers like, Mike Richard say along with raising thousands of dollars for St. Jude, this week he gets training that he says is crucial.

"The training is just superior and everyone leaves here a better motorman."

And when you think competition, speed might come to mind but here that's not the case.

“It’s more about being careful and maneuverability,” said Bacala. “They even have a competition that's a slow ride so it’s who can go the slowest through the course. It’s hard to keep a motorcycle up when your going one mile an hour."

So the ones that keep us safe are working together to get better and of course help the children who need to be kept safe the most of all.

“It’s bringing everyone together to act as one unit,” said Cpl. Richard.

“We’ve had children of employees in our department who have been served well by St. Jude. Last year we raised 63 thousand dollars and so far we've raised 55 thousand and it hasn't begun."

In total since they began over a decade ago, they have raised over 700,000 dollars for St. Jude. The event and competition ends on Saturday.

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