Ride along with the cops at Skate Jam 2022

Skate Jam planners
Skate Jam planners Sgt. Sal Hurtado, Angel Castro of SD Parks and Recreation and Carmel Valley pro skateboarder Billy Ruff at last year’s event.
(Jon Clark)

Skate Jam 2022, an opportunity to skate with local Northwestern Division police officers will roll onto the Pacific Highlands Ranch Pump Track on Saturday, Aug. 20.

While other San Diego neighborhoods participate in National Night Out events to build community and police partnerships, the Northwestern Division had never done such an event for Carmel Valley.

While brainstorming for a local event in 2019, Sgt. Sal Hurtado thought: there’s a skate park right next door to the Northwestern Division station, why not use it? Hurtado had been an old school skater and surfer in his younger days and he knew that there hasn’t always been the best relationship between cops and skateboarders.

In a totally grassroots effort, Hurtado planned Northwestern’s first event at the Carmel Valley Skatepark in 2019.

After missing the pandemic year, in 2021 he paired up with San Diego Parks and Recreation Department Area Manager Angel Castro and Billy Ruff, a Carmel Valley resident who went into the Skateboard Hall of Fame in 2021 as one of the best vert skateboarders of the 1980s. They picked the spot for Skate Jam 2021: the uber-popular pump track, and the event just took off.

“This is an opportunity for cops in the community to continue to build relationships,” Hurtado said.

Grayson Daproza rides the pump track at last year's event.
(Jon Clark)

The Aug. 20 event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the chance to meet and skate with local officers and skate pros. The event will include free refreshments, activities for kids, giveaways, demos, vendor booths and police vehicles on display.

As a bonus, there will be an attempt to break the record for the most continuous laps on the pump track prior to the event, starting at 8 a.m. The current record is 301 laps and the top five qualifiers will attempt to smash it.

Skate Jam 2022 is a non-revenue event and all are welcome. The pump track is located at 5977 Village Center Loop Road in the Pacific Highlands Ranch Community Park.