Police motorcycle competition looks to raise money for Special Olympics

- Weaving in and out of what can only be described by the riders as a sea of orange isn't easy as these police officers make it look.

"We have 20 different agencies from around the Southwest, Nevada, California, Arizona represented," said Officer Toby Ehrler, with the Phoenix Police Department.

Retired Officer Toby Ehrler is running the 22nd Annual Southwest Police Motorcycle Training and Competition, and he says this year 109 motorcycle officers are testing their skills.

"If they touch a cone, there's a penalty, if they knock a cone over there's a penalty, if they put a foot down or drop the motorcycle there's substantial penalties," he said.

"There are certain skills and certain exercises that we do practice on a regular basis, so those certain obstacles, we do set up out here throughout the year and it does help when we come to this sort of competition course," said Officer Kurtis Merena, with Phoenix police.

The best part of the competition may be that officers are raising a lot of money for Special Olympics.

"Collectively, I want to say between Phoenix, Vegas and Southern Arizona we raised close to a million dollars over the years," Officer Merena said.

The challenge this year is just as difficult as it was last year. The goal for competitors, however, might be the same... to win and of course make a difference.

Southwest Police Motorcycle Training and Competition
April 13 & 14, 7am - 5pm
Metro Center Mall
9617 N. Metro Pkwy West
Phoenix, AZ 85051
www.phoenix.gov/police/spmtc
www.specialolympicsarizona.org

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