"We applaud our CSLEA members in State Parks, the Department of Justice, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Insurance who are taking part in the largest law enforcement race of its kind in the world. Do well, have fun, and travel safely." - CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
Dozens of California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members are taking part in the 30th annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay March 22-23, 2014 and at CSLEA we wish them the very best in their legs of the race.
"Our State Parks team took a multi-year hiatus from the event until Peace Officer Lifeguard John Anderson took the bull by the horns," said RPPOA-CSLEA Member and State Parks Peace Officer Lifeguard Erik Burgan. "He organized our team and got us all back on track."
Organizing a team takes some real doing considering team members live in various areas of the entire Golden State.
"Our team members are from all over the state," said Justin Bolden in describing the California Department of Justice (DOJ) team. Bolden is DOJ's team captain, a director on the Association of Special Agents-DOJ (ASA-DOJ) board and a member of CSLEA "So most of us trained on our own." Bolden pointed out that a challenge such as Baker to Vegas can be useful in building morale in a department that is recovering from a lot of layoffs. DOJ has had a sworn team in this for more than 26 years.
The 120 mile challenge takes place on highways and roadways from Baker, California to Las Vegas, Nevada. There are 20 stages in the race, hence 20 team members. Some run four miles, some run 10 miles. Some run during the day, some run during the night. Some run uphill, some run downhill. The team captain picks the runner who is right for each leg of the race. The challenge is about pride, honor and camaraderie.
Getting 20 team members may be the easy part. Each team is involved in fundraising to pay the $2100 entry fee. Other costs include rental cars for someone to follow the runners in, cases of water and other supplies. There is also a support team and a team command post. Everything from gas, to reflective vests to hotel rooms costs money, much of it funded by those who participate.
"California State Parks has a very strong team that represents Bargaining Unit 7 in a very big spotlight," said John Anderson. Anderson is one of the team captains, a State Parks Peace Officer Lifeguard and member of RPPOA and CSLEA. "State Parks has participated in 16 of the 30 years this race has been running. We are looking to do better this year than any other as this is California State Parks 150th anniversary. Our motto is 'fitness through recreation' and our goal is to motivate healthy fitness."
Joining in at the starting line will also be a team of investigators from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). "This is my 13th year and the DMV's third," said Luis Hernandez, DMV's team captain and member of CLSEA and the CSLEA-affiliate Association of Motor Vehicle Investigators of California (AMVIC).
Look for the team from California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) . "This will be our seventh year. We learned a lot the first couple of years," said Ben Delarosa, ABC's team captain and member of CSLEA and the CSLEA-affiliate California Alcoholic Beverage Control Agents (CABCA). "We get everyone in the department involved, from the director on down. It takes a lot of runners and volunteers to do this. ABC is a close department, it is not unusual for us to do this."
Also participating in the Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay are CSLEA and California Association of Criminal Investigators (CACI) members on the Department of Insurance team.
From CSLEA to all our members who are running or volunteering - good luck, stay healthy, stay safe and cheers to you when you cross that finish line!