CURRYDEL NORTE SHOOTERS PLACE AT POLICE GAMES

July 18, 2000 11:00 pm

The four-man shooting team from Brookings and Crescent City placed at the California Police and Fire Games and one member of the team brought home a gold medal.

Brian Patton of Brookings and Bob Saylor, Steve Redmond and Mark Hazelton, all of Crescent City, competed at the games in San Bernardino, Calif., which ran from June 25 through July 1.

The team competed two days in five individual events and three team events.

Saylor said 70 people competed in the individual events and more than 200 competed in the open division team events.

Participants came from the FBI, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals and multiple California law enforcement agencies, Saylor said.

Saylor brought home the gold in the individual events. He was also awarded the title of top correctional officer in the state.

Through our hard work, dedication, sacrifice and encouragement of each other as teammates, our team was able to return home with a gold medal received in the individual event, Saylor said.

In the open division, Redmond finished in 13th place, Patton in 14th and Hazleton in 20th.

For our first time, thats outstanding, said Saylor of the teams rankings.

Saylor said that many of the participants are professional shooters who shoot year round and some of his team members out shot the professionals.

Patton said that the high rankings received in the individual events hurt the team in a way because it caused them to be placed in a higher category for the team events.

Each event consisted of different stations with different scenarios. The scenarios included encountering multiple suspects, a hostage situation and coming out of a police car.

The participants were judged on the accuracy, power and speed of their shooting.

The team practiced for three months before attending the games. They went to Medford where they participated in two matches at a gun club.

Despite the training, they encountered one scenario where they had to sever wood targets. They didnt know they would encounter that scenario and hadnt practiced for it, Patton said.

Patton said the good that came of that was that they would be more prepared next year for the differing scenarios.

Patton and Saylor said that overall, they had a great time and they encourage other law enforcement officers and firefighters from this area to participate in next years games.

There are several events to take part in including boxing, wrestling, pool, baseball and sailing, said Patton.

Patton also said the games are family oriented and there are plenty of things for family members to do in addition to watching the events.

Next years games are scheduled to take place in August in San Jose.

Saylor said that when he showed the medal to Pelican Bay State Prison Warden Bob Ayers, his reaction was Youre kidding, right?

Seeing his smile made it worthwhile, said Saylor.

Several sponsors donated money and materials to the group. The team participated as the official representative for Vihta Vouri and Lapua Ammunition Manufacturing, which are companies out of Finland and are respected names in the reloading and organized shooting sports world, Saylor said.

Other sponsors were the Pelican State Prison Athletic Association and the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, one of the largest law enforcement unions in California, Saylor said.

Sponsors in Brookings included Brookings Sports Unlimited, Delaney's Bakery, Del-Cur Supply, Espresso Gallery, Har-Brook Jewelers, Malias Hawaiian BBQ, Sandys Country Kitchen, The Tea Room and Toreros Mexican Restaurant.

Saylor said the sponsors were overwhelmed and ecstatic with the teams performance.

Because of his gold medal win, Saylor expects to receive an invitation to compete in the World Police Games in Indianapolis, Ind., in August.

Saylor recently competed in the United States Practical Shooting Associations shooting match where he was named Top Law Enforcement Officer in Oregon.