2016 LASD Roundup Article
When he retired recently, Randy Springer posted some comments on an LASD Facebook site. I believe his written thoughts are shared by many. He wrote, “Retirement has been more melancholy than I expected. I began to realize the ‘last times and never agains.’ The last time I will put on a uniform, closing my locker and walking away for the last time. Never again go Code-3.Never ack the radio for a back up or assistance call…never make a T-stop. Never have to write a force report, TC report etc. Never again wake to an alarm clock…never work EM’s again. Never worry about working Christmas and other holidays again. But there is one ‘never again’ I hope will never come…I hope when I say goodbye to friends I have made, it will not be the last time I see them. I hope retirement does not mean I will never again enjoy the fellowship of old or new friends in Law Enforcement.”
How many times have we heard those sentiments? “I don’t miss the BS but I sure do miss the people I worked with.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why so many attend the Roundup each year. We can find old and new friends from Law Enforcement. And in Laughlin, if you want to stay up for EM’s there is plenty of company in the casinos. We certainly don’t work holidays because every day is now a holiday. My favorite subject in school wasn’t even a subject because it was recess. I liked recess more than class because recess was play time with friends and I was always better at play time than class time. The Roundup is recess on steroids.
From April 3-6, 2016, nine hundred twenty-seven of us attended Roundup number 17 in Laughlin, Nevada. The usual site was the Riverside Resort and Casino and the hub of activity centered around the Riverside’s Starlight Room which is co-named, “The Briefing Room.”
Attendees had the choice and opportunity to attend various previous unit functions, luncheons, cocktail hours as well as activities such as a golf tournament, bowling, poker, and slots tournaments, an arts and crafts fair and firearms qualification for HR 218 Qualification.
With the approval of Sheriff Jim McDonnell and the financial support of ALADS, the HR 218 Qualification was conducted by LASD range staff Deputies Joey Stoker and Mitchell Jones. They were assisted by volunteer coordinator Walt Bouman and further assisted by the following: Mark Thompson, Ray Bluff, James Catlett, Bob Mouna, Ed Corette, Janice Hanson and Andy & Mabel Lee. They oversaw the qualification of 371 retired shooters over two days in some very warm sunshine. Thanks goes out for the Roundup’s financial support from the Sheriff’s Relief Association, ALADS, PPOA, and PPOA FCU.
There were some heroics in Laughlin this year. William Hines related the following story: On April 6, my wife, Linda and I along with Carlton and Gail Brandon, went for a late breakfast at the”Bumbleberry Flats” restaurant at the Pioneer Hotel/Casino. I noticed fellow past co-workers Ben Seno and Scott Chew also having breakfast. We spoke briefly as they were finishing. A short time later we said our goodbyes. As we were waiting to order we heard a loud commotion at a far table near the exit and a group of people were huddled around a woman who was obviously choking. Amid the confusion Ben and Scott immediately took control and rendered assistance to the choking woman while her friends and family watched. After a few seconds (which probably seemed like a very long time) and several attempts at applying the Heimlich maneuver, we heard someone yell, “it’s out, it’s out! She’s breathing!” Ben and Scott saved the woman’s life and shortly after quietly left the restaurant with no fanfare or recognition.
To Ben and Scott, outstanding effort and it is good to know you two stayed awake in your First Aid and CPR training classes. Sheriff McDonnell personally reached out and thanked them both for their heroics.
Worth mentioning were the attendance of energy filled individuals who illustrate that there are still ways to be young and active. Charlie Englebart has 57 years of regular and reserve service and to this day continues as a reserve. He is also the overseer of events each year in the “Briefing Room.” John Rondina has 50 years regular and reserve service and boasts the privilege of working with both the parent and child of over 40 LASD members.
This, the 17th Roundup was marked by the attendance of Retired Sheriff John Scott and his wife Alice. This was the first time ever that anyone holding the rank of Sheriff has attended a Roundup. Everyone at the Roundup seemed happy to see John and Alice and I’m sure that if you ask either one of them they will be able to explain just how difficult it can be to get out of the Briefing Room once you have entered. Thanks for attending Sheriff Scott.
As usual I write these articles to try to convince everyone to attend. I’m mostly a realistic kind of guy so I understand everyone will not attend the Roundups, no matter what. Nevertheless, I shall keep appealing. Before I get to the reasons so many attend, I want to deal with some reasons why people may not attend.
Someone I know and worked alongside won’t attend. I asked him why a few years back and his response was, “I don’t do reunions.” This same guy for over 25 years has met the same group of friends every summer in Las Vegas for an annual get together and attends the same super bowl party every year. In my mind, those are reunions. He would love to see his old partners and friends but won’t give me the real reason that he won’t come see them at the Roundup. Maybe this is a good example of the fact that some people hate spinach without ever trying it.
I’m told of another retiree who says he doesn’t want to attend a Roundup because he doesn’t want to look around and be reminded that he is getting old. This made me laugh because all I have to do to be reminded I’m getting old is to get out of bed and look into the mirror. The people who are not getting older are unfortunately in the memorial book.
A retiree I liked and respected refused to attend the Roundup because there was one individual who did attend every Roundup and this retiree hated that individual so much he said he wouldn’t come even though he wanted to see everyone else that attended. That respected retiree died recently and certainly got what he intended by never attending the Roundup and having to see that one individual. He also lost because he died never getting to see again, his many other friends. That just doesn’t make any good sense to me.
It isn’t human nature to like everyone or to be liked by everyone. Maybe we should all just get over ourselves and go have a good time with those that we do enjoy, which is usually the vast majority of folks.
Someone recently posted on the LASD Facebook site: “I have thought about going (to the Roundup) but after seeing the itinerary of golf, bowling, red hat dinners and a few station/special unit gatherings, it sounds like a senior’s cruise. Is there more to it that I’m not aware of? I don’t want to be down on something without knowing all the facts but from what I’ve seen I don’t get it.”
Well, the “more” he is looking for happens every day in the “Briefing Room” or in sharing a meal together or by taking 30 minutes to walk 50 feet across the Briefing Room and being stopped by someone in that LASD family who wants to talk to you. Did you ever stay after shift to visit in the parking lot? Did you ever hang out after a call was finished to visit at 0300 hrs? Did you ever stay after briefing was over to debrief briefing? If you can answer yes to any of those questions, you will love the Roundup. It’s old friends debriefing their lives together. In fact, a better name for the Briefing Room would be the Debriefing Room.
I suppose anyone can find any excuse to not come to a Roundup. I did for a while. But like me and like others you come once and are hooked. Recess on steroids.
OK, so why do so many of us attend these Roundups? Every year Moon posts a question to the list so that I may use those responses in these articles. I want to express many thanks to those who take the time to email their responses to me so that we can encourage many more to attend future Roundups.
The following are the comments from those who attended this year when asked what it is that brings them to Laughlin each year:
It was our first time attending and we will be back. Just hearing from others about the Roundup and the camaraderie, fellowship, games, food and HR 218 qualification got my attention. Invitations from partners, including your wife, reading your article and Moon’s follow-up all helped me in wondering what was going on. Just pulling into the RV park made me realize this was a special event. Six different people approached us as we pulled in, people I did not know, welcoming us to the Roundup. From our experience we realized that this is a very unique and special thing; one that I doubt you will ever find in any other retired group. You have to be there to know. We left with more friends than we had when we arrived. We will return.
I attend to make sure I’m still alive! It’s also good to see old friends!
The LASD Roundup is such a joy. We lived and worked our way through life and a career with everyone in the Briefing Room. Some were co-workers, colleagues, bosses, subordinates, and friends. But being together now just as people who will forever share the bond of being proud of us as a band of brothers and sisters. Some in their 70’s and 80’s, some of us hoping to continue to enjoy good health into those years. I have talked to several retirees through the years who refused to come and talked them into coming. Whatever slight or issue they experienced with the politics of the job they set it aside and finally returned to our playing field and had a great time. For this I find great joy that each of us has varied experiences and ups and downs. The bond will not be broken even as we lose each passing year.
I come to see old friends.
I like attending the Roundups, catching up with the people I do not see on a regular basis. There are added benefits of the HR 218 qualification and the station gatherings. I’ve never had a bad experience.
The reason I travel all the way across the United States from Florida each year for the past 14 years and then before that from California to attend the yearly Roundup is because it is the only occasion I have every year to meet and see my old friends. It affords me the opportunity to sit face to face, catch up on what has happened the past year and share current stories and lie about old war stories. The separate events such as the SEB 924, the gathering of Eagles for ESD and Aero Bureau and the East L.A. luncheon make it all the better. Each year I run into former cadets of mine and it is always a great experience to catch up with them and hear how their careers progressed form the time of training to retirement. So my heartfelt thanks to Moon, his better half Robyn, Charlie and Linda Englebart and Ike and Jacqui Sabean for all their unselfish efforts each year.
My first reason for coming to the Roundup is to honor my late husband, Ken Ryall. I also happen to live in Prescott and I’m good friends with Robyn and Moon. I like the activity of helping them. I consider myself a very lucky member of the LASD family.
I attend for the memories and renewed friendships before they disappear.
I retired after 33.5 years in 1998. I come to see old friends who have moved all over the western United States. It’s three days of chatter that makes me feel really good.
There was significant discussion about the increased number of new attendees this year. Most believed that we had the largest number of first time attenders this year. In my opinion they were conspicuous by their absence. By that I mean you couldn’t tell who the first timers were because they weren’t all huddled in a corner. They weren’t walking around alone and isolated. None were observed staring blankly into space or with their heads back looking like first time NYC tourists. Instead they were instantly integrated into the Roundup family. They walked in, registered, put on their name tags and before they got five steps into the Briefing Room they were instantly surrounded by old friends and acquaintances. Soon they were sitting at a table meeting new friends and sharing war stories with old friends.
The comments noted below were not sent to me. Rather I took them off the LASD Facebook site because they support my cause to get you non-attenders to attend:
The LASD Roundup is a wrap. As usual, had a great time seeing old co-workers that have moved away. Thanks Moon Mullen and your lovely wife (Robyn) for all the work you put in. Thanks Norm Copping for putting on a great two-day golf tournament. Thank you range staff for setting up the HR 218 qualification course. Thank you SRA for the free flashlight that is worth more than the registration fee and to all the other volunteers that helped make this happen. For those of you that don’t go, you’re missing out on a great time. If you’ve never gone, you should come next year and see for yourself how truly enjoyable it is.
I never had anything bad to say about the Roundup but was curious if I would know anyone. Well, after attending the Roundup this year for the first time, I found that I knew quite a few people and met many more whom I didn’t know before but now do know. What a great gathering of likeminded people who all have smiles on their faces. Hmmmm, I wonder why???
The 2016 Roundup is over. It was nice to see and socialize with many old friends and partners. A special thanks to Moon, his wife (Robyn) and the many volunteers who make this event happen every year. For those retirees who do not attend, you don’t know what you missed. For the few that speak negatively about the event, don’t say anything until you attend. A great time was had by all.
They say law enforcement is a family and these photos from the LASD Retiree Roundup prove it. The 4-day event in Laughlin is coming to a close and PPOA was honored to be part of it. It’s uplifting to see so many old friendships rekindled among the 1,000 in attendance, especially at a time when challenges facing the Department have created so much dissension. Hopefully, Department pride, morale and reputation will all be improved by the time we reunite at the 2017 Roundup. Until then…
This is the first year since retiring in 2004 that I decided to go to the Roundup. Pushed by past partners and friends, I decided to go this year. Although my last assignment in Homicide turned out to be one of the better ones, my feeling of the Department; some of its leadership and many of those I worked with was not a good one. Getting past that was not easy but some friends were persistent and I went. Probably the best thing I did was going. Still keeping in touch with old true friends, it was nice to see some that I had not seen in many years. You never really know the bond this job creates until you are without it and then get it back. 2017 here I come!
I think those comments have said it as well as anyone. They all say what I keep trying to say. Moon and Robyn Mullen throw a whale of a 4-day party with the superior help of good friends. I, no, we invite you to attend whether you have never attended or haven’t attended in a long time. I do my best to tell everyone what a great experience the Roundup is. But telling certainly isn’t experiencing and some things have to be experienced to know. I’m certain you will enjoy the time spent.
One of the informational displays in the Briefing Room was by Rose Hills. It served as a reminder that none of us are getting out of here alive. But while we are still alive and willing to share the good old days with old and new friends, I believe that the annual Roundup provides the perfect setting for debriefing our careers and lives. Nowhere else provides that many old smiling faces and happy people from any law enforcement agency.
They say that we tend to do what we plan to do so please mark your calendars now and plan to attend next year’s 18th Roundup scheduled at the Riverside Resort and Casino from April 2-5, 2017.