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
Braziel, 51, and the seven other riders all carried a flash
drive in their racing jerseys containing the names of the
They also brought along a book of fallen officers to deliver
to officials at the National Law Enforcement Officers
Memorial in Washington, D.C.