END OF AN ERA - PA. POLICE OLYMPICS ENDS 25 YEAR RUN!Edit
June 22nd, 23rd, and 24th, 2006 ended a 25 year-era for the Pennsylvania Police Olympics.
The Pennsylvania Police Olympics were started in the spring of 1982, by Tom Miller a member of the Allegheny County Police Department and he was joined by Gary Tallent, John LaMagna, and Jim Cvetic (all of the Allegheny County Police) as the original Executive Committee. Other police officers on the initial board included Bob Downey, Linda DiPietro, and Al Moses of the County Police, and Bob Dzvonick of the Allegheny County Sheriff's department. The initial games were formed to promote physical fitness in the law enforcement community and establish a close-knit bond and competitive nature for our law enforcement officers.
The original games in 1982 debuted with 6 sports: Power-lifting, pistol, racquetball, a 10 kilometer race, golf, and bowling. The initial games were considered a modest success with over 150 competitors, and the games grew from there.
By 1983, Pat Rooney, Larry Wolfson, Larry Stellitano, Charlie Graham and many others (too numerous to list) joined in the organization and administration, and a successful run of athletic competition began to flourish. Rooney eventually became the President of the organization, holding office for 20 years, while Larry Wolfson and Larry Stellitano became the secretary and vice-president (respectively), with both holding their office for over 20 years.
At the height of the games, over 20 sports were offered each year and on average over 500 police officers participated year-after-year.
But, alas all good things must come to an end. Younger officers never got involved in the games, and as the original officers became older, the level of competion decreased dramatically. Long time board members tried to get an influx of new officers involved and turn the reigns over - but new police officers never stepped to the plate. The participation has drastically been reduced, to the point that less than 150 officers have participated in each of the last two years. That forced the executive committee to re-think the whole concept, and decided to make this the last and final year of the games.
That is truly a shame. The Pennsylvania Police Olympics was and still is an excellent idea. It provided an opportunity for police officers from around the country to enjoy friendly competition and develop new and lasting friendships.
I extend a hearty congratulations to Pat Rooney, Larry Stelittano, Larry Wolfson, Rob Kirsopp, Bob Downey, John Mackey, Charlie Graham, Mike Patton, Tom Miller, and the hundreds of volunteers and coordinators who donated their time and expertise to making the games a huge success for a quarter of a century.
- Police-plank -- Mark Rauterkus planks on police calls for the restarting of the PA Police Olympics.