SAN DIEGO — For the last 25 years, Los Angeles Police Department and San Diego Police Department have collided in one of the marquee national public safety football league matchups of the season.
“It’s very heated, there’s a lot of trash talking, you got to keep your head on a swivel, people hitting you,” said Curtis Bryant, an SDPD officer and Enforcers linebacker.
Shane Lynn, president of the Enforcers, says “there’s lots of trash talking and some fights going on.”
And while the Enforcers get ready to battle LAPD on the field this Saturday, off the field, one SDPD officer is battling for his life with charity centered around this game.
“We’re all brothers off the field, we wish them well, we want them to be safe but that two and a half hours is straight, we don’t like you, you don’t like us,” Shane said. “We don’t do them no favors, they don’t none for us.”
US Air Force Veteran Richard Valenzuela has been with the SDPD for the last 17 years, spending the last seven fighting colon cancer — a bout that’s taken a terrible turn.
“Rich is a great guy,” SDPD Chief of Police David Nisleit said. “High-energy guy, he’s a warrior, he’s been battling this for now nearly seven years and he doesn’t quit. He just keep fighting and it’s because of who he is. He’s a not going to stop kind of guy.”
Now, first responders are aiding the Valenzuela family by creating a charity surrounding the big game on Saturday, May 13, at Granite Hills High School.
All proceeds are going directly to Valenzuela’s wife and his two-year-old son.