City Social Magazine

JUL-AUG 2017

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 9 of 59

10 R E A D U S O N L I N E A T W W W . C I T Y S O C I A L . C O M 10 Motorcycle Officers and Miracles Ready to go see the rodeo? No, not an actual rodeo, but the 19th Annual Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Training Competition, also known as the "police rodeo." In place of horses and cowboy hats, officers participating in this rodeo ride motorcycles and wear shiny, but safe motorcycle helmets as they complete obstacle courses. The purpose? To showcase safety maneuvers used by motorcycle officers of Baton Rouge and beyond. A must-see, the police rodeo—one of several events held throughout the year by cooperating Baton Rouge police agencies—guarantees all those who attend fun and learning, community and goodwill, as well as providing local police and police officers, in general, a show of support. What's more, all proceeds from the event are given to the Dream Day Foundation, a Baton Rouge-based nonprofit that, in turn, supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the signature pediatric cancer foundation in the country. So set some time aside and come out to cheer them on October 17-21, 2017 at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. Not sold yet? Keep reading to learn about the police rodeo and how it got it's start! The Annual Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Training Competition made its debut as a simultaneous charity event and competition in Galveston during 1995—one in which motorcycle officers raised funds for charity while learning/displaying safety measures and defensive tactics of use in various scenarios. The following year, the police rodeo saw motorcycle officers from Baton Rouge join in the cause and compete against officers from Texas and beyond. Not long after the 2nd Annual Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Training Competition drew to a close, Chief Jeff LeDuff (then a motorcycle officer) met with organizer Lt. Jimmy Fullen and asked if Baton Rouge could serve as a host for the event every other year. However, the 1997 police rodeo proved such a success that Fullen suggested it be held in Baton Rouge on a continual basis. That's how the police rodeo came to stay in the capital city. In the years since, the police rodeo has grown to be a mainstay family event that draws around 150 competitors annually, including officers of all ranks and divisions and spectators of all ages from Louisiana, Texas and all over the country—all of whom are helping to provide By Alexis Marie Egan Photos provided by the Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Training Organization

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