Motorcycle officers converge on Gonzales for benefit competition

Michael Tortorich
Anthony Cantrelle of the Gonzales Police Department negotiates a turn Friday during the 11th annual Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Championship. The event drew officers from across the country to Gonzales.

Deftly maneuvered motorcycles weaved around courses set up outside of Cabela’s in Gonzales over the weekend.

Law enforcement groups from around the country came to Ascension Parish Nov. 4-7 for the 11th annual Gulf Coast Police Motorcycle Skills Championship.

The competition, which drew participants from throughout Louisiana and nine other states, raises money to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Dream Day Foundation.

The rodeo includes courses, survival seminars and advance motorcycle operation seminars.

Patrol officers train together and compete for the title of top rider.

Friday’s events included the slow-ride competition, partner-ride competition and challenge run.

The host agencies for the event are: the Louisiana State Police, Baton Rouge Police, LSU Police, Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office, Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office and East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Personnel from both the Gonzales Police Department and the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office participated in the event.

Sgt. Carl Dabadie of the Baton Rouge Police Department served as this year’s president.

Some 150 officers from around Louisiana, as well as agencies such as the Memphis police department, Ft. Lauderdale police department, Wyoming police departments, Dallas police department, Georgia State Highway Patrol, Mississippi Highway Patrol and several others compete in the skills contests.

Riders must navigate through a series of obstacle courses while focusing on speed, precision and safety.

The courses are designed to improve riding skills and personal safety, all of which can be useful on daily patrols.

The event raises more than $30,000 each year for the Dream Day Foundation.

More than $176,000 has been raised for the charity over the years.

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Jared Mullins of the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office maneuvers through the course.