“Police in Pursuit” (PiP) is a fundraising event benefitting Special Olympics of Northern California (SONC). It is a car race by Law Enforcement Officers (LEO’s) throughout Northern California and takes place at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville. LEO’s are the largest grassroots fundraisers for all of Special Olympics. LEO’s started the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) in 1981 and continues to raise money and awareness for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
PiP started in 2010 with LEO’s racing 4-banger race cars owned by Ocean Speedway. Nine (9) LEO’s from Santa Cruz County raised approximately 7K dollars for SONC. Prior to the 2012 season, the 4-bangers were sold and no longer available for our event. LEO’s had to find cars to race the 2012 season. Some retired patrol cars were purchased from city auctions, but most cars were donated by some very generous tow companies in Santa Cruz County.
The premise of PiP is to have LEO’s racing cars that represent their department’s patrol car paint and decal scheme. Emergency lights add to the fanfare. Each LEO driver raises a minimum of $750.00 as an entry fee. A web based donation page is set up for each driver. The starting position for the race is based on who raises the most money and therefore most drivers try to raise more money than the other drivers.