December 23, 1999

Harbor Police Deliver a Special Holiday Season for Logan Elementary School Students

Rather than walk home from school, 100 Logan Elementary School students got to ride shiny new bikes home, for keeps —compliments of the Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department.

Logan students receiving bicycles were (left to right) Omar Cordero, Angelica Almanzar, Christian Castro and Ana Gonzalez. Harbor Police Officers Joseph Parra, Mark Clausen and Douglas Welker assisted in the distribution and bike rodeo.

Over the past few months, members of the Harbor Police Bike Team were busy, on their own personal time, tapping various local businesses and organizations to collect the 100 new bicycles, as well as helmets, bike locks and bike-related services for students of Logan Elementary, a Port partnership school.

"Our school has been blessed with a wonderful Partnership in Education for the past three years. The Port of San Diego, and especially the Harbor Police, have been very generous and supportive," said Linda Valladolid, School Principal. "The donation of the bicycles to our students this holiday season, through the hard work of Officer Mark Clausen and other officers, has been the icing on the cake of a terrific partnership."

Harbor Police Officer Clausen and fellow Bike Team members, Officers Kirk Nichols, Laura Tosatto and Joe Parra, spearheaded the bike collection effort.

"In the case of one student, seeing his reaction when we presented him with a custom bicycle to accommodate his special physical needs —that was overwhelming and quickly sold us on the idea to get more bikes for more students," said Clausen. "Plus, a school staff member's question about how we single out one kid to give the bike to out of so many got me thinking that we really needed to do more."

Logan Elementary kindergartner Ana Gonzalez received a bicycle from Harbor Police Officer Mark Clausen, organizer of the event.

With that, Clausen and fellow officers called on various sources to collect the bicycles. In the end, the Harbor Police force, the San Diego Harbor Police Officers Association, Target Stores, Wal mart Stores, Home Depot Stores, Kmart, Toys R Us, Mission Cyclery and more than 30 Port tenants all contributed toward the effort.

With bikes, helmets and bike locks in hand, Valladolid and Clausen worked out a plan for distributing the bicycles to the students. Attendance at Logan Elementary is a primary concern for Valla-dolid and other school staff. And student advancement in literacy is a top priority. To reward the students, the names of one boy and one girl from each of the school's 43 classes were drawn from a pool of names submitted by teachers for good attendance and progress in reading.

But before the sendoff home with the new bicycles and a letter to parents explaining why their children came home with a new bike, the lucky winners attended a bike safety workshop at the school.

The Harbor Police is comprised of 112 sworn peace officers who are charged with protecting public safety on and around San Diego Bay and at San Diego International Airport, Lindbergh Field.

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