Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Police & Fire Games Coming to the Treasure Valley

Police & Fire Games Coming to the Treasure Valley

Boise, Nov. 16, 2006 - Police and Fire Agencies from throughout the Treasure Valley are proud to announce Idaho will be hosting the 2008 Western States Police & Fire Games!

The Games will run August 16 - 23, a Saturday thru a Saturday, 2008. Competitions include 56 events in all, from golf, track & field and weight lifting, to boxing, swimming and darts! An estimated 5 - 6,000 competitors are expected from hundreds of police and fire agencies all over the west, bringing in an estimates $10 - 12 Million dollars for the local economy.

"It's been a dream to host these games," said Corporal Mike Perkins of the Boise Police Department, a volunteer board member helping to organize the games. "We're going to reach out to every agency in the Northwest, and we hope to make the Boise games the biggest yet outside the World competition."

The 2008 Boise games will debut two new events to the Police & Fire games, drag racing to be held at Firebird Raceway, and a police motors competition. These games began some 40 years ago as competitions among California police and firefighters. When the Treasure Valley hosts the games in 2008, it will only be the third time the games have been held outside California. The events will be free and open to the public to watch. Eligible competitors must be full time firefighters or law enforcement employees. Events are open to any competitor.

    Highlights about the Western Police & Fire Games:

  • 5 - 6,000 competitors
  • 10 - 12,000 visitors to Idaho, including competitors families and spectators
  • $10 - 12 Million input into local economy.
  • The games are expected to take up most of the hotel rooms between Boise and Ontario, OR.
  • Competitions will be held at venues throughout the Treasure Valley.
  • Many thanks to all the local Chief's, Sheriff's & Mayors and Governor Jim Risch whose support made bringing these games to the Treasure Valley possible.
  • A volunteer board will organize the games. Staffing for the events themselves will be done largely through volunteers. The board will be looking for local sponsors to also help support the games.

    "Tourism is big business for this valley," said Lisa Edens of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, who were also very instrumental in bringing the winning bid to Idaho. "We are so excited to bring this event, along with the thousands of competitors and visitors to the Treasure Valley"

    Mayor Tammy deWeerd from Meridian says city leaders have heard from other former host communities that the games are fun and profitable.

    "This is gonna be a big deal," said Mayor deWeerd. "From all we've heard, these games are terrific events for kids and families to attend, and our police and firefighters to compete in. Congratulations to all those who worked so hard to bring the games here."

   Background: The board, made up of members of police and fire agencies from Boise, Meridian, Nampa and Ada County, began creating a bid for the 2008 games some 9 months ago. The process included a site visit from the national and world event organizers, the California Police Athletic Foundation in August. During the site visit, all the proposed venues received either an "outstanding" or an "excellent" rating for the committee.

    The bid was presented in Mesa, Arizona last week. When other cities interested in hosting the games, including Reno, Mesa, and Los Angeles saw the quality of the Idaho bid, all competitors agreed to postpone their own bids and allow Idaho to host the games in '08.

    So far, the costs for bringing the games to Idaho have been paid through community donations to the Boise PAL program (Police Activities League). Most of the costs for the games themselves are paid by competitors entry fees. The board will also try and raise approx. $150,000 in local sponsorship dollars to support the games.

    Some of the many venues include:

Boise State University: track & field, tennis

Idaho Ice World: hockey

Boise Centre on the Grove: boxing, special events

Meridian sites: baseball, soccer, K9 competitions, flag football

Idaho Center, Nampa: golf, equestrian events

Ontario, Oregon site: Archery