Posted: 5/2/2009 5:21:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/2/2009 8:53:24 PM EDT by para_frame]
Come on isn't it kind of funny?
LKHORN, WI — Some law enforcement officers do it for honor.
Others do it for fame.
There might even be those who do it for money.
Sgt. Howard Sawyers does it for doughnuts.
The sergeant, who trains correctional officers at the Walworth County Jail, is the world's cop doughnut eating champion for the third time.
The 17 doughnuts he downed in three minutes to win this year's championship April 22 also set a cop doughnut-eating record. Sawyers has won the championship more times than anybody—three out of the six annual contests.
Sawyers' career as a doughnut-eating champ began in 2005 at the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association's annual conference in Illinois.
"I had no idea how to eat doughnuts fast," Sawyers said. "Obviously, I'm a big guy and I've eaten some doughnuts in my day.
"But never that many in one sitting."
He had attended the first conference in 2004. He bought a T-shirt and made a donation but wasn't keen on participating.
"Being a big guy, you've got a little bit of an ego, and you don't want to eat the doughnuts," he said.
The second year, Sawyers gave in to his competitive spirit and decided to participate. He scarfed 12 doughnuts in three minutes to take third place.
The following year, he ate 13 and took first place. He won in 2006, took second place in 2007, and took the top prize in both 2008 and 2009.
How does he do it?
"My pattern is going for a really big burrito for lunch that day because the competition is not until nightfall," he said. "By 7 p.m., you're hungry and ready to go."
Corrections Secretary Kathy Loveless, who claims to be Sawyers' biggest fan, said he is always focused and trains year-round.
"His training is not eating until the big event," Loveless said.
But Sawyers is not just about eating doughnuts.
"It's fun because what we're doing is poking fun of ourselves," Sawyers said. "Too many problems that we've had (in law enforcement) have been because of the ego factor. Guys get the fact that we're wearing a badge and we deserve to be respected. You still have to earn respect."
While eating doughnuts might not be the best way to gain said respect, attending the trainers conference gets a little closer to that goal.
The conference gathers worldwide leaders in law enforcement and focuses on the newest training techniques and technologies.
The doughnut-eating contest is a fundraiser, and some of the proceeds go to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C. It also funds scholarships for officers to attend the conference the upcoming year.
Sawyers said this year's contest might be his last. If a contender steps up to his feat, he vowed to return and take the challenge.
As his coach, training Lt. Dave Gerber, pointed out, most legends return when faced with a new record to break.
"Rocky retired and came back," Gerber said.
It was only a coincidence that Kirk Dodge was among the first Walworth County Sheriff's deputies on the scene in Delavan last June where Ambrosio Analco killed five people, then took his own life.
It's hard to argue that Dodge wasn't the best man for the job.
"He's one of those guys who performs under pressure," said Sheriff David Graves. "He knows how to apply what he's learned."
For his actions that day, Dodge received the Lifesaving Award Wednesday during ceremonies at the Walworth County Law Enforcement Center.
Dodge was among 12 members of law enforcement to receive special recognition.
Dodge was one of the first to respond to the apartment in Delavan June 9 of last year. As he began to assess the scene, Dodge came across Analco's 20-month-old daughter Jasmine in a minivan parked outside the home.
Still unsure if there was a shooter on the loose, Dodge took the keys from the ignition, picked up Jasmine and rushed her to safety.
He discovered she had been shot in the chest, and quickly brought her to emergency personnel. Jasmine was the lone victim to survive the ordeal.
Dodge then returned to the scene to lead the entry team into the apartment.
Graves praised Dodge, saying, "His actions saved the life of the 2-year-old child."
Other award winners include:
Lifesaving Award: Undersheriff Kurt Picknell, Sgt. Robert Hall, Deputy James Trussler, Deputy Todd Neumann and Wisconsin State Trooper Josh Riley.
Rob Keefe was clearing a drainage pipe from a retention pond in LaFayette Township when he slipped and was nearly sucked into the opening.
He was stuck for nearly 20 minutes when his 10-year-old daughter Bridget called 911.
When the rescuers arrived, they quickly put a rope around Keefe to prevent him from sliding further into the pipe. They were able to free him before the dive rescue team arrived.
Graves said Keefe was "enormously grateful for the quick response and the determination those guys showed in pulling me out of that pipe."
Distinguished Service Award: Deputy Jason Hintz and Dep. Robert Wierenga.
Canine handlers Hintz and Wierenga were called on to assist in the search for the killer of Kenosha County Sheriff's Deputy Frank Fabiano Jr. in May of 2007.
Fabiano Jr., had been shot during a traffic stop and the suspect fled into a heavily wooded area.
Wieringa led the canine team in the search, and Hintz eventually flushed the suspect.
Graves said the canine team was instrumental in the capture of the armed and dangerous suspect.
Distinguished Service Award: Sgt. Mark Roum and Sgt. Howard Sawyers.
Roum and Sawyers have been instrumental in implementing new technologies that have allowed the sheriff's department to become more effective, Graves said.
Among his accomplishments, Sawyer helped implement a new inmate calling system for the jail as well as working with the new electronic monitoring system.
Roum recently completed work on TraCS, an electronic data collection system.
It simplifies the process for issuing citations and keeps patrolmen on the road where they belong, Graves said.
Meritorious Service Award: Deputy Tim Ruszkiewicz
Deputy Ruszkiewicz was off duty and driving through Elkhorn in May of 2007, when he came across a vehicle pulling a tent.
When he stopped to inquire, the driver asked Ruszkiewicz if he wanted to by some Valium, Graves said.
Ruszkiewicz pulled out his wallet, but instead of cash, the driver saw Ruszkiewicz's badge.
Ruszkiewicz was honored for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Medal of honor: Deputy Troy Pagenkopf
Pagenkopf was one of three rescuers who pulled a man from a burning building in the Lyons Township. The victim was discovered lying face down inside the burning building. He was rescued and taken to the hospital and survived.
no donut love?
Haha, that's pretty good. I'm glad he can poke fun at himself.
Originally Posted By bstonemega:
Haha, that's pretty good. I'm glad he can poke fun at himself.
I wonder if he makes a "hoo hoo" sound when he does it.
I lived right by this town when a man killed 5 people including shooting an infant in the chest while she was in a car seat in a very small town in SE WI. He's probably a good guy.
here is with a real award, being honored with a man who saved the life of a 20 month old girl from a point blank gun shot wound to the chest.
Proof that some stereotypes are not stereotypes.....they are reality
I lived in the town about a block and half away where the shooting incident happened.
The donut contest is a very cool thing, as silly as it may be. At least he's a happy cop.
I see I'm not the only person who remembers that incident.
I'm sorry. I'm new to the forum.
I think I killed this thread with posting what I did.
Being the donut eating champ is nothing to brag about.
Who's got the "diabeetus" cat pic?
nobody noticed his taser shirt?
I wonder if they have yearly physical agility testing at his department?
I mean, no offense, but I could polish off at least 14 of those cake donuts in three minutes with no training...