California Police Chief- Fall 2013 - Page 4

Pictured from left to right: Paul Curtis, Matt McPhail, Jim Beezley, Mark Greenlee, Skyler Baldock, Rick Braziel, Dan Nutley, Neil Schneider. A RACE TO REMEMBER Sacramento’s bicycle team is the first to complete a cross-country journey to honor fallen officers As a veteran cop of almost 32 years, Rick Braziel is intimately familiar with a truism of police work: Nothing ever goes as planned. So when Sacramento PD’s police chief and 20 colleagues ventured off this summer on a historic cross-country bike journey to honor fallen officers, Braziel wasn’t fazed when the unexpected happened – just two hours into the race. Shortly after the start of the race that began in Oceanside on June 18, one of the vans carrying two riders who were part of Team SacPD broke down and had to be towed. Other mishaps would follow. Braziel, a former triathlete and marathoner, wondered: Would his two teams of four riders and 13 support crew make it to Maryland as first-ever finishers in the 30th running of the Race Across America?  | Behind The Badge The endurance event is daunting. Riders have to cross 3,000 miles across 12 states and climb more than 170,000 vertical feet – all non-stop, with teams of four taking turns logging between 350 and 500 miles each day. There was a point to the madness. Braziel and his colleagues were determined to finish the race to honor all 19,298 known police officers killed in the line of duty in the U.S. Team SacPD made history at this year’s Race Across America as the first-ever team entirely consisting of law enforcement personnel. Braziel, 51, and the seven other riders all carried a flash drive in their racing jerseys containing the names of the fallen officers. They also brought along a book of fallen officers to deliver to officials at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.