Go big or go home: Phoenix SWAT takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to new level

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

Honoring one of their own

PHOENIX -- It was a call-out for which members of the Phoenix Police Department were anxious to report: an Ice Bucket Challenge that has a very special meaning. 

When the Mesa SWAT team sent out a challenge to their counterparts on the other side of town, some 45 officers from the Phoenix Police Special Assignments Unit were eager to honor one of their fellow officers who died after battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease. 

3TV was the only television station invited to the Empire Equipment yard for the spectacular Ice Bucket Challenge. The group stood under front loaders that dumped some 65 bags of ice on them.

This elite group of officers is responsible for tracking down violent offenders, serving high-risk search warrants, and responding as the Phoenix Police Department’s SWAT team to barricades and stand-offs.  They took time out from their duties to honor Brian Howe, a former member of the SAU team who passed away in 2009.

Howe’s widow, Jackie, was there at the yard along with the couple’s 15-year-old twins, Brooke and Jeren. The teens stood shoulder to shoulder with the officers as they remembered their father.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a movement that has spread worldwide in support of the fight against the disease.