Racing law enforcement in the streets isn't recommended, but racing them for a good cause is.
The El Paso County Sheriff's Office and Colorado Springs Police Department are challenging the community to a go-kart "Race for Hope" Saturday at Overdrive Raceway, 196 Spectrum Loop. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., with all racing revenue being donated to Mayfield Counseling Center for youth suicide prevention.
Sheriff Bill Elder, Police Chief Pete Carey and other deputies and officers will be available to face challengers on the agility or speed tracks, where the karts can reach speeds up to 45 mph.
Though meant to be a fun event, the race has serious undertones, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby said. Youth suicide prevention is one of the office's top priorities, she said.
"Youth suicide is an epidemic here in El Paso County," Kirby said. "The numbers are staggering."
The county Coroner's Office reported 12 suicides of youths under the age of 18 so far this year. Last year there were 15 and in 2015 there were 14, the office said.
Those numbers drastically increased from 2014 when there were seven youth suicides, the office's statistics showed. "We just want to bring awareness to the problem that it is," Kirby said.
If a race around the track with law enforcement isn't enticing enough, Kirby said attendees also will have the chance to win two door prizes, including 50-yard-line tickets to Sunday's Denver Bronco vs New England Patriots game and tickets to watch the Air Force Falcons take on Utah State on Nov. 25.
Also partnering in the event is Safe2Tell and Perkins Motors.
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