By Melanie Barrios
Deputy Chief Blake Chow has been in law enforcement for an impressive 31 years. Being in law enforcement has given him different opportunities to interact with the community and make a difference in someone’s life., but Chow was already making a difference long before becoming an officer.
Deputy Chief Chow has been volunteering for Special Olympics Southern California for 31 years! It all goes back to 1985 when he was a freshman at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He volunteered to take athletes to events, and the following year, Chow gave out hugs to athletes as they completed an event. These interactions with athletes have kept him involved all these years.
“Special Olympics made me a better person because it’s really opened my eyes to what the Special Olympics athletes have to overcome in life in general and in society and to see them out there overcoming these things that they have to overcome, to see them engage in a sporting event, and really to talk to them interact with them, really makes me feel good that we can be a part of that Special Olympics life and help them achieve things in their life that without Special Olympics or without our law enforcement connection they may not have been able to do.”
Deputy Chief Chow is undoubtedly proud to support Special Olympics Southern California in shape or form. Besides interacting with athletes, Chow participates in Plane Pull, LAPD Softball tournament, Tip-A-Cop, and Torch Runs, events geared to raise money for athletes. Before Covid, Chow’s region (LETR) raised $1.7 million. Fundraising is hard work, but to see how that money is going to the athletes is extremely rewarding.
From an emotional standpoint, going to summer games or interacting with the athletes at events, just watching the faces of the athletes as they come out to the field as the law enforcement officers greet them or as they partake in a sporting event, and they finish, and to watch that satisfaction that’s what really hooks the officers.
“I always tell people if you can take an officer to summer games, and they have an opportunity to interact with the athletes, they’ll be hooked for life.”
As the world slowly reopens again, Deputy Chief Chow hopes to see more volunteers at the summer games, supporting athletes in their element and supporting each other.
“We all should live our lives and ask ourselves if we’re doing everything we possibly can to help other people, and if your answer is ‘yes’ I want to help other people, then you need to volunteer for Special Olympics, and you need to come out to a summer game, you need to come out to a Tip-A-Cop, and watch how the athletes’ faces light up when they’re at these events. I think you will achieve a lot of satisfaction out of becoming involved with a group like Special Olympics and really changing and helping the lives of thousands and thousands of athletes that we have here in southern California.”
Visit https://www.sosc.org/volunteer for more information on how you can get involved with Special Olympics.