It was interesting talking to Bigs, the mother chapter president of the Sentinels MC here in Denver and learning about the MC and how they started. With the name “Bigs”, you would think he’s this big, mean burly dude, but, he’s a sweet teddy bear. The type that you know will have your back, no matter what. He gave me a sense of trust and security that made me comfortable, and I was myself during the interview.
According to Bigs, in January 2006 approximately fifteen law enforcement officers from various Colorado law enforcement jurisdiction and from other law enforcement motorcycle clubs, decided that they wanted to start a club of their own which became the Sentinels Motorcycle Club. They wanted a club where active and retired law enforcement officers, who liked riding motorcycles in their spare time, could come together and share their enjoyment of the open road. In order to be a law enforcement MC, the membership must have at least 80% active or retired law enforcement officers. These officers are from Weld County all the way down to Douglas County.
There are a few civilians in the club, and they are very proud of them. Bigs articulated, “It takes a lot to understand a police officer’s mentality, much less want to be around them for an extended period of time. Just like us, their determination and perseverance has made them part of this club. We trust them to have our backs when and if the time comes.”
Bigs said, “Many of us felt a loss of camaraderie on the job with some fellow officers. To us the words Honor, Loyalty, Duty and Brotherhood had lost much of their meaning. Since we were having a hard time finding it at work, we came together in this club to get back what we had lost.”
He said that the officers of this club, while at work, serve their communities with determination and perseverance as well as risk their lives every day to make our cities a better and safer place to live. After hearing that statement, it made me feel more secure and safe in my city. He goes on to say that when they are off the job, the officers of this club hold themselves to the same standard by helping in their communities and with charities as bikers. Their major charity, The Thin Blue Line ride is coming up June 7 at 9 a.m. at the Colorado Law Enforcement Memorial (CLEM) is located in a small grove of trees at the State Patrol Academy, located at 15055 South Golden Road, Golden. With registration, you will receive a t-shirt, roasted pig, coleslaw, and beans. The proceeds go to the CLEM to keep it upgraded and maintained so family members can visit loved ones.
Bigs boasted, “We are Law Enforcement Officers/Bikers, and we don’t apologize for what we are or love! We wear our colors proudly and respect all other colors, as long as they respect ours.”
After hearing that, I asked Bigs his thoughts on establishments that have a No Colors Policy, and he said proudly, ”like I said earlier, we represent law enforcement, and we are proud of wearing our colors.” He continued that his club will never take off their colors and will not patronize a business that will not welcome him or his club.
Like all clubs, the Sentinels Motorcycle Club has had its share of internal conflict. What hasn’t destroyed them has made them stronger. He stressed, “we are a Law Enforcement Club; it is both what and who we are. We want Law Enforcement Officers who are proud to wear the BADGE on duty, and proud to wear our PATCH off duty. We want Law Enforcement Officers who are just as comfortable wearing their uniform on the street, as they are wearing our colors and riding their motorcycles into a biker rally.”
Beyond the camaraderie, Bigs said his club offers to its members and potential prospects a unique opportunity for members to balance being law enforcement in a MC world. The club focuses on the circle of trust within the club and on their families. They also strive to give respect to all clubs and to co-exist amicably.
With the change in generational attitudes, I asked him where he sees the future of clubs going. Bigs replied, “I hope it goes down the same path as it is currently. I truly understand that there is a delay in the generation gap, but I am confident that honoring the brotherhood will continue beyond the infinite and the powerful commitment to the club will remain stronger than ever.”
The Sentinels are big on family, their ladies and children. Since they work all day and have the club to attend to, they look forward to spending time with their families whenever possible. The ladies diligently assist with the events and charities. These events are family friendly, and all the kids are super tight and are raised by aunts and uncles that are around all the time.
Like me, Bigs was also hit by a vehicle on a major highway. Back in 2017, Bigs was on Highway 36 in the express lane going about 60/65 MPH and a van veered abruptly into Bigs’ lane. Bigs’ hand went right through the van’s windshield! He also fractured his pelvis and broke his elbow. Although the accidents were pretty depressing, we had a good time sharing battle scars and talking about our experiences.
Bigs wanted to give a shoutout to his club, “Together we stand, there is strength in unity. When there is Honor, Loyalty and Brotherhood. Wonderful things can be accomplished. This doesn’t work without all my Brothers, Ladies, and Minions together. Thank you all!”
Bigs’ slogan “You only live once, but if you live right, once is enough”.