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Police chief, others go 'over the edge' for Special Olympics Arizona

Chandler police Chief Sherry Kiyler and six of her officers literally went "over the edge" Wednesday, , rappelling down a 17-story building for charity.

The event, a fundraiser for Special Olympics Arizona, took place at 1 E. Lexington Ave. in Phoenix and raised $50,000, said Marlene Calabrese, the charity's special events manager.

Kiyler alone raised nearly $6,000 for the charity. Participants needed to raise $1,000 apiece to rappel down the 1 Lexington Condominiums.

More than 40 people from across the state raised enough money to participate, Calabrese said. Dozens watched from below, and condominium residents snapped photos of participants on the way down.

"Most people when they saw this were surprised," Calabrese said.

She said the most exciting moment was when Baxter, the costumed bobcat mascot of the Arizona Diamondbacks, took a turn. Calabrese hopes next year the Phoenix Suns gorilla will join in.

"It was a blast," said Chandler police Detective Dave Ramer. "You are 17 stories up and going down the side of a building. . . . It is kind of a mind freak."

He said you could control your pace on the way down.

"You stop, pause, take in the view," Ramer said.

Also participating from the Chandler Police Department were Sgt. Jason Barnes, Detective Livi Kacic and Officers Stephen Dieu, Skip Clarkin and Shawn Hancock.

Agencies across the state raise money for Special Olympics Arizona, which has events all year, including a summer Olympics on April 28-30, Calabrese said.

"It was very well received," she said of the rappelling. "Lots of people want to do it next year."

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