|Ofc. Brian Bennert
Brian joined SJPD in October 1966 and in 1967, the first Police Olympics in San Diego were held. Brian had been a Junior College All-American swimmer at San Jose City College in 1962 so he immediately became interested in the Police Olympics. In 1969, Brian and another San Jose Police Officers’ Association (POA) member traveled to San Diego where they represented the POA at a meeting where the California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) was founded. CPAF became the “parent organization” of the Police Olympics and gained its 501(c)(3) non-profit tax designation in 1970.
Brian’s first Police Olympics were in Long Beach in 1970. He won medals in swimming that year and for several years after that. He later switched to golf and won numerous medals at various California Police Olympics and World Police & Fire Games. Brian has earned over 30 medals competing in swimming and golf.
In 1976, the 10th California Police Olympics were held in San Jose and Brian was named the golf coordinator. As the coordinator, he was responsible for securing competition locations and handling the day-to-day operations of the competition.
By this time, Brian was on the POA Board of Directors and in 1978 became the Chief Financial Officer. That same year, he budgeted the funds necessary to establish the Police Amateur Athletic Foundation (PAAF) as a formal organization. PAAF became incorporated in 1980 and earned its non-profit status. Brian was one of PAAF’s founding members and continued to support PAAF after he retired in 1993.
In 1985, San Jose hosted the first World Police and Fire Games, for which Brian was named the golf coordinator. In 2001, San Jose hosted the California Police & Fire Games a second time, and although he was retired, Brian was named golf coordinator again.
Brian was an officer with SJPD for 27 years and spent a majority of his time in the Traffic Enforcement Unit riding a motorcycle and conducting radar enforcement. He also worked patrol and investigations.
For his contribution to the Police Amateur Athletic Foundation, the California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF), and his achievements in swimming and golfing, Brian Bennert is inducted into PAAF Hall of Fame.
Lt. Jason Herr
Jason was hired at SJPD in December 1994. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2011 and to Lieutenant in 2014. During the course of his career, Jason has worked patrol, Narcotics Enforcement Team, Metro, Megan’s Law/290 Unit, Sexual Assaults Investigative Unit, Child Exploits, Field Training Officer, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Family Violence Unit, Missing Persons/Juvenile, and the Field Training Program Administrative Unit.\
Jason joined PAAF as a brand-new officer and soon got talked into training for the “Toughest Cop Alive” competition at the Police Olympics. The TCA is a decathlon-style event consisting of eight exercises: 5K run, shot put, 100 meter dash, 100 yard swim, bench press, 20’ rope climb, pull ups, and obstacle course.
Jason competed in his first TCA in the 1996 Police Olympics in Long Beach and surprised himself by winning gold. He also set a new record for the open division. He competed in TCA the following year in Fresno and won another gold. In 1998, Jason took a break from the individual TCA competition and competed in the TCA Mixed Doubles with fellow PAAF Hall of Famer Donna Arndt-Backman. Together they earned a silver medal. In 1999, Jason competed again in the individual TCA at the Police Olympics held in Pasadena and took silver.
That same year, Jason competed in his first World Police & Fire Games which were held in Stockholm, Sweden. He won a bronze medal in the TCA and a silver medal in the bench press. Jason fell in love with the World Games experience and vowed to one day earn a World Games gold medal in the TCA.
In 2000, Jason competed in the Police Olympics in San Bernardino which he once again won the gold in TCA and set an all-time state record. This record stood for 15 years until the scoring format changed in 2015.
In 2001, Jason finally achieved his goal of earning a gold medal in the TCA at a World Games when the competition was held in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also set a new world record in his division. He competed in the California Police Olympics that same year and earned a silver in the TCA.
Figuring he was the “toughest cop alive,” Jason decided to try his luck at boxing. He entered the boxing competition at the 2002 Police Olympics in Santa Ana and quickly learned that being the toughest cop alive provided no significant benefit to boxing. He took last place but said stepping into the boxing ring was one of his proudest moments of his police athletic career.
Jason redeemed himself at those same Police Olympics by winning gold in the bench press and setting a new division record that held until 2016.
Jason went on to compete in the 2003 & 2004 Police Olympics earning a silver in the bench press (2003) and a gold in the Team TCA (2004). In 2005, Jason tried another new sport at the Police Olympics, which by now were called the Western States Police & Fire Games. He competed in the whitewater rafting and earned a bronze medal. Jason returned to the TCA competition at the 2008 Western States Police & Fire Games in Boise, Idaho earning a silver medal as well as two gold medals in kayaking.
In 2008, Jason competed in a different competition called Eppie’s Great Race. It’s a “no-swim” triathlon which consists of running, biking, and kayaking. He grew tired of hearing a Sacramento Police Department Deputy Chief gloat about winning the Firefighter/Police Division so Jason recruited two SJPD teammates, one of which was fellow inductee Brian Winco, and entered the competition. In Jason’s words, they “crushed” Sacramento Police Department and won first place.
Jason’s final World Police & Fire Games competition was in 2011 in New York City where he competed in the push/pull (bench press + deadlift) and won a gold. After two major injuries and surgeries, Jason decided to cut back on his competitions and instead spend his time motivating younger SJPD officers to get involved with the Police Olympics. Two years ago, he founded the SJPD Dodgeball team and acts as the team advisor when they compete at the Police Olympics. He plans on competing with the team next year.
In all, Jason earned a total of 19 medals at the World Police & Fire Games and Police Olympics.
For his outstanding TCA, weightlifting, and kayaking achievements, Jason Herr is inducted into the PAAF Hall of Fame.
Sgt. Brian Winco
Brian was hired with SJPD in January 2002. As an officer, Brian worked patrol and Metro. In April 2019, Brian was promoted to sergeant. During his career at SJPD, Brian has served as a physical training instructor at the academy and is currently the lead instructor for the San Jose Bicycle Patrol School. When Brian was a recruit in the police academy, he set the record for the fastest 1.5 mile run at 7 minutes, 54 seconds (a pace of 5:16/mile). This record still stands today 17 years later.
Brian has competed in many running and triathlon events both professionally and personally. Professionally, Brian competed in the 2004 & 2005 Western States Police & Fire Games. In 2004, he ran the 10K Cross Country where he placed first overall. In 2005, he competed in the 10K Cross Country as well as the Olympic distance triathlon. Brian won first place overall in both events.
In 2017, Brian participated in the World Police & Fire Games in Los Angeles where he ran the half marathon. Brian finished 19th overall out of 133 runners and 1st in his age division with a time of 1:21:20.
Brian is also a member of the San Jose PD Running Team and participates in the annual Baker to Vegas relay race. This race is a 120-mile, 20-person relay race that starts in Baker, California and ends in Las Vegas. Brian is always assigned the hardest leg in the race: 10.7 miles while climbing nearly 900’ of elevation. Brian has been a top-five finisher in that leg six different times, including the last three years. His average pace while running that leg is 6:22/mile.
Personally, Brian competes in many running and triathlon events as well. In 2007, Brian ran the San Jose Quicksilver Trail Half Marathon which he won. Twice, Brian ran the San Francisco North Face Endurance Challenge Trail Half Marathon. In 2008, he finished 3rd place overall and in 2010, he finished 1st in his age division.
Brian has competed in 19 Rock N Roll Series Half Marathons with the following results: 3rd in his age division four times, 2nd in his age division five times, and 1st in his age division ten times. He ran the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Full Marathon in 2017 & 2018 where he took 1st in his age division both years. In April, Brian will be running his first Boston Marathon.
In addition to running, Brian also competes in triathlons. He is a 13-time finisher of the Ironman distance triathlon and a 3-time recipient of the Silver All-World Athlete Award in 2017, 2018, and 2019. This award is given by Ironman Corporation and recognizes Brian as one of the top 5% of triathletes in North America in his age group for the Half-Ironman and Ironman distance races. Lastly, Athlinks online database ranks Brian in the top 6% of all athletes with 80 races completed.
For his outstanding running and triathlon achievements, Brian Winco is inducted into the PAAF Hall of Fame.