FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JULY 3, 2014
CONTACT: LT. ERIC SKAJA / 760-839-4444
The United States Police and Fire Championships wrapped up last week, with four officers from the Escondido Police Department turning in excellent performances.
“This was a great team effort,” said Police Chief Craig Carter. “It keeps officers fit and performing to their best abilities, while at the same time fostering relationships with other agencies. I am proud of their commitment to fitness and competition.”
For the second year in a row, Officer Janice Kolhof won gold in the Fitness Throwdown, a Crossfit-style contest that tests athletes’ strength, stamina and agility. Detective Michael Martinez placed fourth in the event in his first year competing in the games.
“The games are a great motivator for police officers and firefighters to get in shape and stay in shape,” said Detective Martinez. “In a profession where personal fitness can save your life and extend your career, I think everyone should compete in at least one event of the games. I am looking forward to next year’s competition.”
Sgt. Craig Miller competed in six cycling events over seven days. He placed second in the mountain bike race, road race, criterium, hill climb and sprints, and fourth place in the time trial. He accrued enough points in the individual events to earn gold in the overall national championship.
This is Sgt. Miller’s third time competing in the United States Police and Fire Championships. He has also competed in cycling events at the World Police and Fire Championships in New York, and he plans on attending the world games in Arlington Virginia next year. Sgt. Miller is a member of the Swami’s Cycling team, based in Encinitas.
Officer Damian Torres competed in three shotgun events at the Redlands Shooting Park: trap, skeet and sporting clays. In a field of 50 shooters, he placed fourth in the individual class of sporting clays, and turned in respectable scores in the other events.
“The games were a great opportunity to meet other shooters from across the country,” Officer Torres said. “There are some excellent shooters who show up. This first time for me was a great chance to see where I need to improve. I will definitely be back next year.”
The United States Police and Fire Championships began as the Police Olympics in 1967 in San Diego. Founded by San Diego Police Lt. Veon “Duke” Nyhus, they were designed to promote physical fitness and camaraderie amongst members of the law enforcement community. The games grew through the years to include firefighters from across the state. Then in 2005, they expanded to include the Western States. In 2012, the games grew again to include firefighters and police officers from around the nation.
An estimated 5,000 athletes participated in 40 sports and shooting competitions.
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