A group of dedicated law enforcement officers from around the Phoenix metro area — known as “the Valley” — are gearing up for the adventure of a lifetime as they prepare to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, one of the highest peaks in the world.
This endeavor, involving about 30 individuals, is not just about personal achievement but also for a noble cause as they aim to support their community back home.
Lieutenant Tyler Watkins of the Tempe Police Department, currently in Tanzania, spoke about their purpose.
“We’re here to do a few things. It’s a humanitarian trip to serve the people of Africa … and also to climb the tallest mountain on that continent of Africa, which is Mount Kilimanjaro,” Watkins said.
The team consists of four law enforcement officers and chiefs from various departments, including Tempe, Paradise Valley, Apache Junction and Phoenix.
The officers have been diligently training for this challenging journey, undergoing multiple hikes a week for several months, conquering trails like Mount Humphreys and Camelback.
The ambitious trek spans approximately 38 miles, requiring them to take over 100,000 steps. But the officers are determined, fueled by the knowledge that their efforts have raised more than $7,500 for the nonprofit Angels on Patrol.
The organization, founded by a Phoenix police lieutenant, aims to help people in need, such as those caught in domestic violence situations or those who have had belongings stolen.
Chief Michael Pooley of the Apache Junction Police shared his thoughts on the organization’s impact.
“When people see the amount of change in somebody’s life that they can do with organizations like this, it’s a game-changer. It’s a life-changing experience,” he said.
The officers hope their journey will inspire others to remember their true mission: to serve and protect their community. They believe that even on the worst days, they will be there to help and provide for those in need through Angels on Patrol.
“When people are having their worst day or a terrible situation, we want to be there to help,” Watkins shared.
As they embark on this incredible mission, the officers are not just looking forward to reaching the summit; they cherish the journey itself. Working together, supporting each other and overcoming obstacles are part of the bonding experience they seek on this expedition.
Their commitment has also touched the hearts of Arizonans, and they hope their actions inspire others to believe that anything is possible. The team also plans to carry banners for Angels on Patrol and law enforcement to symbolize their dedication to their community.
Once they conquer Mount Kilimanjaro, their hearts are set on another adventure —Machu Picchu. Their passion for service and exploration knows no bounds.
To learn more about the incredible work of Angels on Patrol and the adventure organization K2 Adventures, visit their websites: Angels on Patrol (angelsonpatrol.org) and K2 Adventures (k2adventures.org).