Police Cadets raise cold cash with icy crawl

Published March 26, 2006 ~ By David F. Ashton

To raise money for their program, SE Police Cadets Nicholas Kienle, Eli Fernley, Channa Thol and Justin Brill — among others — taking freezing belly-flops and crawling to center ice before a Portland Winterhawks at the Rose Garden. David F. Ashton Photo

What sane person would lay down – on ice – at the Portland Winterhawks goal line and crawl on their bellies to center ice at the Rose Garden?

Southeast Precinct Portland Police Cadet Justin Brill says he considers himself a rational, but explains why he‚Äôs doing this irrational act: “The money we raise helps us support all of our activities at the SE Cadet Post. This isn‚Äôt fun; but we do whatever it takes to support our program.”

Portland Police East Precinct Cadets gather for a group photo before taking their icy slide. David F. Ashton Photo

East Precinct NRT Officer Michael Gallager adds that the group was disappointed that bad weather prevented the Cadets from making their icy “Polar Bear Plunge” canceled weeks earlier because of dangerous conditions on the Columbia River.

So, on March 10, before the hockey game, these youth take to the ice, belly first, dressed in T-shirts and swim gear.

“This is kind of crazy. But we are making good our pledges. I came into the program because I‚Äôm interested in being a police officer,” is how Cadet Nicholas Kienle explains why he‚Äôs taking the icy belly-flop.

Making good on his fund-raising pledges, Portland Police Cadet Channa Thol shinnies across the ice before a Portland Winterhawks at the Rose Garden on March 10. David F. Ashton Photo

On “Go!”, cadet Channa Thol drops to the ice and skitters to the arena‚Äôs center. Afterward, he tells us, “In the Cadet program, we learn the skills necessary to be a police officer. We don‚Äôt carry weapons, of course, but we learn how to patrol, do traffic stops, traffic control. We are proud to serve the community with hundreds of volunteer hours. These missions free up sworn police officers to directly protect and serve our community.”

SE Precinct Police Sgt. Kim Keist didn‚Äôt make the frigid foray, but was there to cheer on her Cadets. When she became a Cadet in the 70s, “it confirmed my decision to make law enforcement my career.” Keist explained that the annual pledge drive provides the funding for this unique program It helps pay for uniform, training and equipment for the youth, 16 to 21 years of age, who become Cadets.

“Our Cadets get invaluable experience,” the Sergeant adds. “Whether they are going into law enforcement as a career or not, the Cadet Program is a great environment in which to learn life skills that will serve them as they become adults.”

For more information regarding the Portland Police Cadet program, contact Officer Heather Rippe, (503) 823-2236.

2006 David F. Ashton – East PDX News

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