FAIRFIELD — About 85 law enforcement officers from all over the country and all different agencies descended on Fairfield’s Art Koch Range & Training Facility on Saturday for the third annual Fallen Officers Shooting Competition.
“(They’re) all over the state, some that are federal, (Drug Enforcement Administration), homeland security, then we have a bunch of people from Travis Air Force Base,” said Fairfield police officer Cade Beckwith, the event’s organizer. “It’s open to anyone who is law enforcement and military law enforcement.”
With four separate courses of fire and two classifications for competition, the shooters came to support the Fairfield-Suisun Public Safety Academy this year.
Beckwith, who is one of the school’s drill instructors, said the school serves students in grades 5-9 and maintains a paramilitary atmosphere.
The year-old school is still in need of equipment and teaching supplies, Beckwith said, making it a good cause for this year’s competition.
Beckwith didn’t have an estimate of how much was raised, but he said the first two years of the competition raised $15,000 and $13,000, respectively.
“We have more shooters here today than last year,” he said.
Fairfield police Sgt. Steve Ruiz was among the competitors Saturday.
“It’s been for a great cause both years prior to this one, and this year it’s for the Public Safety Academy, another great cause where the kids from the community can benefit,” Ruiz said. “It’s fun, it really is just for the enjoyment. We try to take some of our tactical and training experience and try to apply it, but a lot of the time it’s just to have a good time and for a good cause.”
Beckwith said the winners of each competition class receive an AR-15 rifle, and eight other rifles were up for raffle, all donated by gun shops from as far away as San Jose.
Vacaville police officer Chad Hudson was also having a good time with his fellow officers.
“It’s been great. It’s a good way to come out and train. Good, fun day of shooting,” Hudson said. “It’s very casual, very kickback, everybody’s real friendly.”
Part of the day included visits from the families of fallen officers, including daughters and grandchildren of Fairfield officer Art Koch (for whom the shooting range was named), who was killed in the line of duty in 1984.
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr.