FAIRFIELD — The first Fairfield Police Motorcycle Competition drew participants from all over Northern California on Saturday at the Solano Town Center.
The all-day event brought together law enforcement officers from more than 30 different police departments including 10 departments from the California Highway Patrol.
“There are 45 people who registered to ride,” said Cade Beckwith of the Fairfield Police Department.
Beckwith organized the Fairfield Police Department shooting competition over the last few years and was asked to assist in organizing the motorcycle event. The competition is the brain-child of Officer Jimmie Williams, who wanted to do something to remember fallen Officer James Capoot, the Vallejo police officer who died in the line of duty in 2011.
“We really wanted to honor Jim in some way,” Beckwith said.
In Capoot’s honor, one of the courses was set as a star with his badge number. The competition began with a moment of silence. Then the participants were asked to picture Capoot driving the honorary course.
The event was broken down into two classifications: American motorcycles such as Harley-Davidson and Metric bikes and foreign brands such as Honda and BMW.
“Really they handle differently. So we needed to do two different classifications,” Beckwith said.
There were several courses with first place winners receiving a Samsung Galaxy tablet donated by Best Buy. The drag race winner received a $100 gift certificate from BMW Police Motorcycle. All participants received a plaque commemorating the event.
In addition to being an opportunity to honor a fallen officer, the competition helped raise funds through vendor participation for the Bay Area Law Enforcement Assistance Fund. The fund helps the officers and families of officers who are involved in a catastrophic event.
“We help financially after things like death, illness, injury. Each situation is unique,” said Kelly Blackwell-Garcia, the director of the Bay Area Law Enforcement Assistance Fund.
The nonprofit raised more than $627,000 since its inception in 1999.
“We have helped officers all the way down in Monterey and as far up as Sacramento,” Blackwell-Garcia said.
Slap-D’s Smokin BBQ, a local catering company created by full-time Fairfield police officers Troy Oliver and Tony DeTomasi, provided food for visitors.
“We do this primarily for competitions but it went so well over the last few years we thought we could make it a part-time business,” Tony DeTomasi said.
Many officers came to hone their skills on their motorcycles and have some fun.
“This event is a good opportunity to sharpen skills because everything we do on the course we do on the streets,” said Officer Kris Frey of the Citrus Heights Police Department.
“It also gives younger officers an opportunity for training,” he said.
It wasn’t all about grown-up fun. Activities for the kids included a jump house and a bicycle course where children could ride bikes and learn about traffic signs.
“It gives them an opportunity to learn about signs and traffic laws,” Beckwith said.
Fairfield Police Officer Matt Bloesch, one of the organizers, thought this would be a great time for police to interact with the community.
“We can talk to people one-on-one without it being at the other side of the car window,” he said.
“Our goal really is for allied agencies to come out and have a good time, and help get some training in,” Bloesch said.
Reach Susan Hiland at 427-6981 or firstname.lastname@example.org.