The Battle of the Badges weigh-ins took place at the COPS 4 Kids and Communities boxing gym in Colton on Thursday, May 17th in preparation for the upcoming Southern California Battle of the Badges that was held at Agua Caliente Casino and Resort on May 19.
Special guest speakers included San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos and Retired Correctional Officer Tom Dennys. Also making a special appearance was Richard DeLaRosa, Mayor of the City of Colton.
Retired San Bernardino Police Officer Gabe Garcia and his father, Retired San Bernardino Police Captain Ron Garcia, were among the special invited guests. Garcia suffered life-threatening injuries during an on-duty shooting incident in 2014. COPS 4 Kids held several fundraisers and dedicated several events in Garcia’s honor.
COPS 4 Kids and Communities is a youth organization that teaches youngsters boxing to build confidence and overall self-discipline. However, they are looking to add several other classes and workshops in the future. Carlos Palomino, Coach and Program Director for the Colton gym, said that there is also a Hemet gym location operated by Jeff Penn, Executive Director of COPS 4 Kids and Communities and a retired Hemet Police Officer. The motto of the program: “Reach them before we need to rescue them.”
Palomino said that there are about 20 to 25 kids that are revolving through the program at any one time, “Many of the kids can’t keep up with both school work and the gym’s boxing program.” Coach Palomino said that COPS 4 Kids and Communities is always honoring the families of law enforcement and the military.
COPS 4 Kids and Communities is operated entirely by volunteers. Many of the participants in the Battle of the Badges events also volunteer with COPS 4 Kids, according to Palomino. Many of the COPS 4 Kids sponsors include the San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, American Medical Response (AMR), the California State Department of Corrections, and many more.
San Bernardino Police Officer Nathaniel Campbell weighed in for the event. This will be Campbell’s first bout with the Battle of the Badges.
“The DA’s Office would like to be part of this program.” District Attorney Michael Ramos said to the audience. “We could do a better job at the front end.”
During the event several past participants in the Battle of the Badges fights were awarded a Certificate of Recognition by California State Assemblymember Eloise Reyes. In the Assemblymember’s absence, Mayor DeLaRosa, DA Ramos, and Penn stood in and congratulated recipients.
San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputy Asiah Medawar from the Highland Station also weighed in for the event. Deputy Medawar has been involved in boxing since about 2012.
Travon McMillan from Fontana has been working for American Medical Response for approximately 5 years and also weighed in for the event. Travon said that he likes to volunteer and help with the kids.
For more information on the COPS 4 Kids & Communities go to www.c4kc.orgor call (909) 644-0373.