MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. --
“Woop-woop, that’s the sound of da police,” KRS-One sings in his 1993 song “Sound of da Police.”
While the sound and flashing lights of police cars may send nervous jitters down some people’s spine, they also serve as a reminder of the care law enforcement has for the community they work in.
“The men and women of security forces are out there day-in and day-out for long hours,” said Staff Sgt. Dominic Cicchirillo, 5th Security Forces Squadron, area supervisor. “They stay up late and wake up early doing everything they can to make sure this base is secure and everybody is safe.”
That dedication does come with risks, and National Police Week recognizes law enforcement professionals who put themselves in harm’s way, and have paid the ultimate price in the line of duty. This year, Police Week ran from May 12 to May 18.
“It’s important to remember all of those who have given their lives and made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” said Senior Airman Michael Slankard, 891st Missile Security Forces Squadron, flight security controller.
In honor of National Police Week, Minot Air Force Base hosted a parade, family day, ruck march, defender challenge, softball tournament and a golf tournament with trophies and prizes for some of the events winners.
“The events were held to bring together people from different squadrons and to incorporate family members into what we do,” said Cicchirillo.
Cicchirillo and Slankard both participated in the Defender challenge in different ways, with one competing and the other coordinating the event, respectively.
“The Defender challenge was a physical and mental contest in which participants had 20 seconds to memorize a set of items that cops use on a daily basis, then immediately take a lap around the track and do 20 pull-ups,” said Slankard. “If a member of the team couldn’t do one pull-up then the entire team had to assist that member in completing their set.
“The remainder of the challenge included more laps, pushing a Humvee, a tire flip, and carrying a dummy on a stretcher. After those additional laps and challenges, the team had one minute to write down as many items they could remember from the item set in the beginning.”
The challenge was timed and the winners were announced two days later, during the Police Retreat Ceremony, adding to the suspense for those that competed.
“The coolest event for me personally was the Defender challenge,” said Cicchirillo. “It’s like an obstacle course were teams competed against one another with the fastest team being the winner.”
Like many service members, Cicchirillo has a competitive personality, but the events highlighted the importance of teamwork.
“The idea behind many of the events was to emphasize teamwork, for Airmen to work together and support each other,” said Slankard.
The emphasis on teamwork, during this week, was especially uplifting, said Slankard. It reminded Airmen that while law enforcement may, at times, seem a difficult job - it is not a thankless one.
“You get to work with some amazing people, who motivate and inspire you, and to work for something bigger than yourself,” said Slankard.