To promote physical fitness and professional interaction, the Arizona Police Athletic Federation in 1970 held the first National Police Olympics games in Phoenix. Only duly sworn law enforcement officers were allowed to compete. The games were successful beyond imagination and everyone did not want to wait 4 years to do it again, so games followed in Tulsa, San Francisco, Jacksonville and San Diego at 2 year intervals. The Olympics name was copyrighted so the event was now called the International Law Enforcement Games and open to all police officers worldwide. It was later renamed the International Law Enforcement and Fire Games and firefighters allowed to compete as they are also public safety servants.
A large contigent of our members gladly used their vacation time and paid their own travel expenses to compete at the 1978 San Diego games or at future games:
Archery: Larry Paglinawan.
Baseball: Les Akeo, Bobby Au, Kenny Barker, Buddy Bothelo, Herbie Chun, Alika Dias, Frank Grilho, Tony Hall, Stephen Hirata, Maurice Kanoa, Ronnie Mederios, Donald Meinel, Doug Miller, Billy Soon, Louie Souza, Derrick Tsukayama and Paul Valentine.
Basketball: Frank Abreu, George Chock, Clay Cockett, Kriss Cockett, Lawrence Ephan, Slash Ernestberg, Mike Hama, Gary Kim, William Lurbe, Paris Resinto, Wade Souza, John Spondike and Ken Tano.
Boxing: Al Delacruz, Paul Kealoha and Lyle Smith.
Darts: Martha Falk, Martha Fontana, Karen Huston, Paul Ledesma and JJ Lee.
Golf: Wes Anderson, Danny Cuban, Walter Ho, Donald Izumi, Shigeji "Gaggy" Kogachi, Gary Maletta, John Navares and Harold Tanaka.
Judo & Karate: Ben Ballesteros, Evan Ching, Rod DelaPina, Rafael Fajardo, Mike Harada, Bob Imoto, Mel Kaonohi, Richard Nagao, Danny Sheldon, Julian Shiroma, Farrell Sojot, Paul Takayama and Mike Tiwanak.
Pistol: the Hee brothers, Anderson, Harley and Harvey, Dennis Kim, Tommy Shimoda and Jerry Won.
Powerlifters: Henry Ahloo, Ben Ancheta, Bryant Bayne (who was later killed in the line of duty), Scott Collins, Bobby Hickcock, Duke Hospador, Gary Look, Malcolm Lutu, Tenari Maafala, Kevin McClaverty, Arthur Mederios, Kaipo Miller, William Monteilh, Alvin Nishimura, Larry Oliva, Rusty Radona, Wayne Saito and Danny Saragosa.
Racquetball: George Aio, George Akeo, Bill Gulledge, Sam Koanui, Norman Lau, Owen Lovell, Les Moon, Manny Rezentes and George Williams.
Swimmers: Larry Hao, Roy Kaaa, Rufus Kaukani, Wilbert Kaimikaua, Mervyn Laeha, Gordon Lee, Ron Matsuura, Larry Oshiro, Ben Pabillano, Darryl Picadura, Margaret Powers, Danny Sison, Debbie Tandal, Debbie Wilson, Willie Wong and Jeff Yamashita.
Tennis: Dennis Correa, Rick deRuiter, Rudy Embernate, Mike Rehfeldt and Timmy Wong.
Track & Field: Ben Abihai, Bob Barefoot, Dave Benson and Mickey Dods.
Volleyball: Leighton Anderson, Robert "Dougie" Aton, Kevin Brunn, Danny Cappo, Rap Fitzsimmons, Frank Fujii, Allan Gaylord, Mike Hama, Taylor Hoopii, Greg Hunt, Maxie Kaniho, Henry Lau, Randy Macadangdang, Ward Mariani, Armand Mariboho, Paul Meyer, Roylen Nieva, Calvin Okahara, Dennis Peterson, Jeremy Postmus, Paul Putzulu, Derek Shimatsu, Ron Sismar and Richard Wong.
Unfortunately, names of the medal winners were not maintained, however it is known and remembered that this volleyball team, like the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahines in the Western Athletic Conference, did win the gold and were to repeat at every future games for years to come. Of course, it did not hurt that UH All American, Cheryl Grimm, joined the department and the team. Other policewomen volleyballers were Gail Becker, Lilinoe Grubbe, Martha Fontana, Kristy Fulmer, Diane Milner and Debbie Wilson.
A few of our members have competed in all of the games sponsored by the ILEG:
1980 - Long Island, New York, 1982 - Austin, Texas, 1984 - Phoenix, Arizona, 1986 - Columbus, Ohio, 1988 - Sydney, Australia, 1990 - Edmonton, Canada, 1992 - Washington, D.C., 1994 - Birmingham, Alabama, 1996 - Salt Lake City, Utah, 1998 - Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2000 - Orlando, Florida, 2002 - Ottawa, Canada, 2004 - Las Vegas, Nevada, 2006 - Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2008 - Orlando, Florida*.
*The 2008 games at the Disney World sports complex turned out to be the last as the International games organization fell victim to the recession and dissolved.
The 1988 games down under were the most popular as 120 officers from the 4 county police departments (Honolulu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai), complemented by special agents from the FBI, Secret Service, US Marshals and IRS represented Hawaii and competed. They were motivated by a large cheerleading squad from the Records and Communications Divisions. Many more wanted to attend, but the departments could not accomodate all of the requests for vacation time. Jack Tsui of Panda Travel handled the arrangements and there were no glitches going there or getting back home via New Zealand. Thank you again, Jack!
The Alabama police passed out complimentary tickets to the August 8, 1994 baseball game between the Birmingham Barons and Nashville Smokies. What was so special about this game? Michael Air Jordan played for the Barons and in the 3rd inning, we watched in awe as he hit a monsterous homerun to deep center!
Dubai won the gold medal hands down for the most memorable games. From the elaborate opening day festivities to the sumptuous closing banquet, this oil rich nation spared no expense to showcase their small but truly impressive country. A boat ride up the Rhine on the way home via Frankfurt ended our excellent adventure.