The World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) is an annual sporting event that is accessible to retired and active police and fire service personnel across the globe. It is organized by the WPFG Federation is an arm of the California Police Athletic Federation (CPAF) and is an American non-profit organisation.
The Games draw around 10,000 participants just a little less that those who participated in the Summer Olympic Games, and overtaking the third position holders which is that of the Commonwealth Games. In the first decade of the 2010s, The United Kingdom hosted the three events simultaneously including The 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England followed by the 2013 World Police and Fire Games in Belfast, Northern Ireland, concluding with Glasgow, Scotland, hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games – the first time that all three events are held by the same country consecutively.
The city that hosted this year’s World Police and Fire Game was Fairfax County, Virginia, located in the United States, with venues situated around the Washington metropolitan area.
In 2017 the Games were planned to take place in Montreal However, Montreal backed out of hosting the Games due to an unrest with the municipality and its fire department. The Games were quickly moved to another date and held successfully within Los Angeles.
- The host city for 2019 in 2019 was Chengdu which is located in China.
- The WPFG 2021 date was delayed until 2022 due the COVID-19 epidemic.
- In 2022, the city that will host the event will be Rotterdam The Netherlands.
The California Police Olympics were first held in 1967. The idea evolved throughout the years and led to the establishment of the World Police and Fire Games Federation, a non-profit organisation that is run through the California Police Athletics Association in 1983. In 1985 it was the year that the inaugural World Police & Fire Games were held in San Jose, California, USA and included more than 5000 participants.
The biggest WPFG events to date were played on the streets of New York, New York, USA with over 16,000 athletes attending, representing the 59 countries.
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The most popular and most well organized event was held at Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2013. The event was described by the president of the World Police and Fire Games Federation, Mike Graham, as “the friendliest and best Games ever”.
The Montreal Firefighters Association called for an outright boycott of the 2017 Games which took place in their own city to protest against the forcible changes in their collective agreement and retirement funds by City of Montreal and the Quebec provincial government. The unions that represent over 100,000 civil servants and firefighters were joined by Montreal’s firefighters during the boycott.