October 23, 2021

Police chocolate challenge Monday

Metro Creative

With two days remaining before members of the Cortland Police Department take on the World’s Hottest Chocolate Challenge, Community Oriented Policing Officer Jesse Abbott said they’ve been preparing by watching YouTube videos of people taking the challenge.

That may work against them.

“The more videos we watch on the challenge, the more nervous we’re getting,” he said Friday.

Abbott and five other members of the police department will eat the chocolate at 7 p.m. Monday at Bru 64 and film and post their reactions to the Office of Community Oriented Policing’s Facebook page.

Watch it live

The Cortland Standard will live stream the World’s Hottest Chocolate Challenge Monday on its Facebook page. The video will later be made available on its website here at cortlandstandard.net. Check it out.

The chocolate is rated at 9 million Scoville units, according to the product’s description, which is “900 times hotter than a jalapeno.” It’s about four times hotter than the Carolina Reaper, which is pretty much the world’s hottest pepper.

The Scoville unit is the measurement for quantifying spiciness of peppers.

The challenge is one effort to raise funds for Office of Community Oriented Policing events through the year, like Shop With a Cop and Coffee With a Cop, Abbott said.

The department set a goal of $1,000 in December to be raised for the challenge to happen. That goal was exceeded by $200.

The other five members participating:
• Police Chief F. Michael Catalano.
• Deputy Chief Paul Sandy.
• Sgt. Seth Rowland.
• Sgt. Anthony Natoli.
• Officer Patrick O’Donnell.

They will eat one square of the chocolate, wait one minute, and eat another square, Abbott said. Whoever eats the most squares wins.

Milk will be provided by Trinity Valley Dairy in Homer to “help save our taste buds,” he said, and maybe put out Sandy’s mustache should it catch fire.

“I’m not sure what I’m getting into,” Catalano said with a laugh. “It couldn’t have been something simple like chicken wings. It had to be the hottest chocolate in the world.”

He said the challenge will be a good way to humanize police officers, showing that they are susceptible to pain like everyone else.

It also helped to raise funds for a good cause, he said.

Abbott was inspired to bring the challenge to the department after he saw police in other parts of the country take part as a fundraising response to the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017.