The Carson City Sheriff’s Office is kicking off its 14th annual Extreme Officer Motor Training Challenge Thursday with a new, homemade twist.
Every year, dozens of motorcycle officers from around the country meet in Mills Park to train and compete in a variety of activities designed to test and strengthen their motorcycle skills.
“It is fun, it is a good time, but it is great training for the officers,” said Motors Sgt. Earl Mays.
This year, the Carson City deputies decided to incorporate a unique twist, by creating their own homemade trophies.
“Nostalgia is in right now and we want our competition to be different and unique,” said Deputy Joey Trotter. “When our riders win a trophy we want them to think that it is really cool and that way they keep coming back to this.”
Trotter said they also decided to go this route because it best represented their theme of the Ironhorse Challenge and the Wild West.
They went through several ideas for what material to use including leather and metal before deciding on wooden pallets.
Each trophy was created by hand; slabs of wood cut and nailed together. It was then sent to Ponderosa Stamp and Engraving Co., in Carson City to have the logo and place number burned into the wood.
“No one will ever have a trophy like this one,” said Deputy Kevin Cook.
Cook volunteered his time outside work to create the trophies. It took him about two days to build the 43 trophies and about 20 minutes per trophy to burn.
“It means more to our riders when we can give them something homemade,” Trotter said.
In addition to the homemade trophies this year, the deputies are creating a number of unique patterns for the course. In addition to the normal patterns, the motor deputies will have to go through cone patterns in the shape of Nevada, a lasso, a dollar sign and a horseshoe.
“We want to keep a balance of what the pattern makes you do and how it looks,” Trotter said. “So because of that, this year we have less speed and more technical courses.”
In the past, the competition has consisted of a timed main cone course with several other motor obstacle and skills courses.
This year, the main course will be a mirrored pattern in which the officers will have to go through each side and will be timed, then their two runs will be averaged.
“We wanted to do (fewer) events this year because the main course is complicated so we don’t want them to worry about the others because that’s the focus of the riders,” Trotter said. “We tried to make the main course different than any one I have ever seen.”
“People assume that we just do circles through cones, but it isn’t like that,” added Mays. “It is a training; it is being able to push the motorcycle and self and seeing the ability of the motorcycle and rider.”
Attendees will get to see about 30 officers from Nevada and California including Northern and Southern Nevada Highway Patrol, Reno Police Department, San Jose Police Department, West Sacramento Police Department, Nye County Sheriff’s Office and more.
Carson City will have four deputies competing: Trotter, Gary Denham, Wayne Wheeler and Kevin Cook.
“I am excited for it. We want people to see it’s not just a bunch of motor cops goofing off, it is a training and skills challenge,” Mays said. “I have high expectations for our guys.”
The Extreme Motor Officer Training Challenge will run from Thursday to Saturday, with training for the officers from Thursday to Friday afternoon and the competition Friday and Saturday in Mills Park.