Brian Bennert with PAAF President, Jessica Welker.
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.