Berkeley Police Department's Turkey Ride
Every year in early September, for the last 27 years, approximately 20-30 current and retired members of the Berkeley Police Department, University of California Police Department (UCPD) and support crew embark on the Annual Turkey Ride. Many of the riders use their own vacation time to participate in this yearly fundraising event.
The Turkey Ride was conceived in 1983 when three BPD officers rode their bikes from Berkeley to South Lake Tahoe. During the venture, they talked about developing a community service related project and involve other BPD officers in it. They ultimately decided that they would raise money to buy food and give it to Berkeley families in need during the November and December holiday season.
In 1985, the inaugural Turkey Ride took place with seven BPD officers riding 216 miles from the Hall of Justice - the old Berkeley Police Station (then located 2171 McKinley Avenue) to Lake Tahoe in two and a half days. The group raised enough money to buy 250 turkeys and other food items to give away to community members. Since then, support for the Turkey Ride has blossomed such that over 500 baskets have been given away each year.
BPD officers submit names of families in need to receive holiday baskets. Members of community groups along with BPD employees gather in front of the Ronald T. Tsukamoto Public Safety Building to assemble the baskets, and then deliver them to families throughout the city during Thanksgiving and the December holidays.
This year the group will take a new route, traveling over 210 miles in three days from the Ronald T. Tsukamoto Public Safety Building in Berkeley to the cities of Calistoga, Sebastopol and finishing at Crissy Field in the City of San Francisco. Ride is a partnership with Berkeley Boosters/Police Activities League-PAL, and our longtime sponsors include Berkeley Rotary, Safeway and Greenleaf Produce.
The Turkey Ride has become a wonderful tradition that has involved over 150 different participants over the course of 27 years, many of whom have ridden 13 years or more.
The 2011 Turkey Ride !