World Police and Fire Games
A firefighter at the 2015 World Police and Fire Games held in Fairfax, Va. Photo: First Responder Network Authority

Crooks may want to avoid Los Angeles for the next 11 days as 8,000 cops and firefighters from around the world arrive for the 2017 World Police & Fire Games.

While opening ceremonies aren’t until Monday, events will begin Sunday with a cycling race in Valencia.

The opening ceremony for the biennial 11-day Olympics-style competition is set for 5 p.m. Monday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Admission is free.

Approximately 8,000 active and retired police officers and firefighters from more than 70 countries will compete in 65 events through Aug. 16.

“What makes us different is the ages of the athletes,” said Chuck Foote, director of the California Police Athletic Federation, the umbrella organization for the World Police and Fire Games Federation, which conducts the games. “These athletes range in age from brand-new employees to those with 40 years of experience.”

The World Police & Fire Games have been held every two years since 1985.

“The World Police & Fire Games not only help to promote physical fitness through intense competition, it also builds camaraderie and lifelong friendships among first responders,” said Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, a past games competitor who is expected to also compete in this year’s games.

“The opportunity to showcase our great city is great, but the fortuity to bring athletes from around the world together with our diverse communities to share in the passion of sport, that’s something special.”

— Staff and wire reports

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