LAPD Chief of Police. Dirt Rider subscriber since 1982. 57 years old.
I was about 15 years old and my uncle had an Ossa Pioneer and he rode enduros. I ended up getting an Ossa also, which was at the time a really good enduro bike. I rode some enduros, I did some desert races, I rode the original Barstow To Vegas After a while I finally decided to ride motocross, so I graduated to Huskys and eventually Maicos. I became an AMA District 37 expert in about 1980.I prefer off-road when it rains and MX when it’s hot. [Laughs]Police work is similar with off-road riding in that you have to make a lot of decisions, you don’t have a lot of time to make ’em and the consequences for bad decisions are awful.High-speed pursuit driving and riding a dirt bike are a little bit alike. Both things are about learning how to control yourself in stressful situations and being able to make good decisions even when adrenaline is pumping. I don’t care how bad you want to be in the first turn first, it doesn’t make any difference if you don’t have the right position. And that’s the same with catching people and it’s the same in a deadly force situation. You have to be a realist about what you can do and what you can’t do. And sometimes if you need to stretch the envelope a little bit, you have to know when it’s appropriate and when it’s not.I don’t think it’s so new to everybody in the LAPD that the Chief rides, because I’ve always ridden, and a lot of people know me from that, but it has become a little more popular lately [laughs]. But when I’m talking to other [cities’] police chiefs or high-ranking officials like the mayor I don’t even mention this. [Laughs]Police and Fire do a lot of racing together. And firefighters are in great shape and they work really hard, but they’re not really good independent thinkers. I mean, they work in a herd, so I think police officers make better racers because it is an individual sport, just like police work, and it’s based on decision-making. You don’t always get to call the fire captain.Just this year I went back to a two-stroke just to try it again, and my riding’s been reinvigorated. I love riding it. The two-stroke is more primal to me. I feel very connected to it. It feels It’s the difference like, if we were dancing, now finally I get to lead again. [Laughs]