Written by Phil Cerroni
By Jess Paniszczyn
The low rumble of motorcycles filled Wagon Wheel Park as police officers from around the state gathered for the 5th annual Coppell Police Motorcycle Competition and Custom Bike Show March 14-16.
Not unlike a good, old fashioned rodeo, lawmen rode their black and white steel horses through patterns and around obstacles with grace and speed to demonstrate their skills and expertise. When not competing, the lawmen and their families relaxed together, shared meals and swapped stories.
“Our annual motorcycle rodeo is a training event as well as a competition,” Mac Tristan, Coppell’s Chief of Police, said. “During the first two days, riders from all over the state of Texas get used to and train on the course. Saturday is the actual competition where they run through times and compete in accuracy and other categories. We have riders come from as far away as the Corpus Christi, Bryan and Houston Police Departments.
All of the proceeds from the event go to Metroplex Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) The C.O.P.S. organization reaches out to family members and coworkers of law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.
“Unfortunately, we are not the first and we are not going to be the last survivors. Sadly, there will be other officers killed in the line of duty.
“My husband was a motor officer. He was killed July 7, 2007. This is my first rodeo since he was killed. It was a little nutty at first. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to mentally and emotionally hang. I’m glad I am here though.
“I have twin daughters. They were three when their daddy was killed. If it wasn’t for C.O.P.S., I wouldn’t be in the place where I am. I honestly think that they have helped me heal and rebuild my life to be the mom that I am. I don’t feel like a victim, I know that I am a survivor.”