The 19th Roundup was held from April 8-11, 2018, in Laughlin, Nevada at the Riverside Resort and Casino. A new attendance record number of eleven hundred forty three (1143) attended this year and if you were not one of them, you missed what most all Roundup veterans said was the best one yet. Sheriff Jim McDonnell was in attendance on Sunday and Monday morning and is the first incumbent Sheriff to attend any Roundup. Retired Sheriff John Scott was also in attendance so this was also the first time that two Sheriffs were at the Roundup at the same time.

With the approval of Sheriff Jim McDonnell and the financial support of ALADS, the HR 218 Qualification was conducted by LASD range staff Deputies Joey Stoker and Randy Tweedy. The two day event is coordinated by Walt Bouman and this year a new record 473 retired shooters qualified.

Thanks goes out for the Roundup’s financial support from the Sheriff’s Relief Association, ALADS, PPOA, and PPOA FCU.

Now for my own random thoughts on the Roundup:

Each year various individual units hold reunions in the form of cocktail parties, dinners or lunches. Many sell out, so in making your plans to attend next year it would make sense to plan far ahead in attending one of these fast growing events. It is these events that often produce the oldest and fondest of memories with opportunities to share those memories with those who helped make them.

Last summer while on a cruise with a friend we were discussing the Roundup over drinks and he told me, “when I find someone who is considering going to the Roundup, I usually tell them they have to go because inevitably they will run into someone they have forgotten about or not thought about in many years and that they will be overjoyed so see them again.”

From time to time people post on social media about the Roundup. There have been some references to old retirees attending. So a word or two about the old retirees: Most of us retire after 20, 25, or 30 plus years. Rarely does a young person retire. The word “Old” has never been specifically defined but I trust that we are all striving to become older retirees as opposed to the alternative. I like the old retirees. They have interesting history and stories to tell. Their experience far outreaches mine just because of time alone. In many ways they paved the way for all of us, and often taught us what they knew. They trained us. I remember hearing then Lt. Steve Selby say that when you train a deputy, you are building a deputy. The old retirees helped to build a good many deputy sheriffs and if we were smart enough to listen and learn, the benefit was ours. They are due the honor and respect the younger folks hope to one day receive. The old retirees are not angry; they are happy and happy to see everyone in Laughlin because it gives hope that this tradition will continue. I don’t like seeing an old person at the Roundup and realizing that I was in the academy with them. If you think there are too many old folks at the Roundup I would suggest that you get your young hips out to Laughlin show us all what young retirees are like.
In truth, all ages of male and female are enjoying the benefits of the Roundup so if you suffer from the fear of missing out, now is the time to make your plans for next year.

Retired Reserve Captain Steve Pair met and had a very long conversation with a retired RCMP (Canadian Mountie) who was visiting Laughlin with a tour group. The Mountie saw the sign for the Briefing Room and proceeded upstairs to find out what this was all about. There he encountered Steve, and was awed at the mass of retired cops and the genuine fellowship taking place. It is impressive to see for sure and first time attenders are usually equally awed by the scene.

On the first Sunday night I was with friends in a nearby restaurant and sitting at a table next to us were Art Herrera, Wes McBride, John Bowler, and Steve Newman. All great cops as were many but I was struck by the amount of law enforcement history sitting and taking at that table. It’s that type of sight that you can only see at an event like the annual Roundup. In fact, it’s a sight that you can be part of if you attend.

After last year’s Roundup, a first time attendee said this: “Even though I have been retired 14 years, this was the first Roundup my wife and I attended, but it definitely will not be our last one. I regret not attending them from the moment I retired as this was a most enjoyable event. I do not have any one favorite, most memorable moment as it was like being hit with a wave of all of those things when I first walked into the Briefing Room and saw those who I worked with and for during my career. Each day that I went into the Briefing Room I saw someone else that I knew. The memories of working with or for these people just came flooding back. Yes, we had all aged a bit, but I still recognized everyone. It was great seeing these and others during the Roundup and I am so thankful for Moon and Robyn and their volunteers. Now that we have experienced our first Roundup my wife and I intend to attend every future one so long as we are able.”

Some folks avoid the Roundup because they fear they might see someone they don’t like. The problem with that is that they miss seeing the many folks they do like. I don’t have to go all the way to Laughlin to find people I don’t like; I merely have to go out and drive in traffic. I normally find a few I don’t like. It has been said that there’s nothing simpler than avoiding people you don’t like. Avoiding one’s friends; that’s the test.