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June 28, 2012
By Natalie Savidge
Hundreds of public safety leaders gathered in Reno last week for the 54th Annual International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators conference, and before they left for their hometowns, they tossed a few dollars into a basket and formed the University of Nevada, Reno PD rappelling team to support a local charity.
Members of the law enforcement association contributed an initial $480 to send University Commander Eric James, on a rope, down 30 stories of Reno's Grand Sierra Resort building at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 30.
"We talked about the opportunity for the members to put a UNR officer 'Over The Edge' to benefit our annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics," Lisa Walter, chief of police and parking at the University of Wisconsin, said. "Commander James volunteered for the cause and we formed the team."
Over the Edge is a special events company that provides signature events for non-profit organizations in North America. Participants are invited to raise pledges, a minimum of $1,000, in exchange to rappel over the edge of a local building. Reno's event is fundraising for Special Olympics Nevada, providing participants the thrilling chance to rappel down the Grand Sierra Resort. More than $25,000 has already been donated to teams and individuals taking the descent this weekend.
"I'm terrified of heights," James, who used to teach rappelling classes in the military, said. "But I am always careful and I'll have the proper equipment, and it's a fun event for a good cause."
James will be rappelling on Saturday with many local people, including Reno radio personality RJ Palominos from Alice 96.5 FM. Family, friends and on-lookers are welcome to watch rappellers from the pool area on the south side of the Grand Sierra Resort.
Natalie Savidge is the senior media relations specialist for University Media Relations.