Gwinnett County, Georgia

Beat the HEAT

“Racing for Education”


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Deputy Richard Younker

Deputy Younker has been a dedicated member of the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department since 2008, and has quickly shown himself to be a model member of law enforcement.


Growing-up in North East Pennsylvania , his passion for cars quickly consumed him as soon as he was old enough to drive.  Immersed in a group of like-minded friends who shared his love of European cars, he sought out anything Volkswagen and Audi. After  moving to Georgia in 2006, he brought his love for European cars with him. Within a short time, he sought out his other passion…serving his community.  After joining the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department, he rapidly found ways to elevate his level of service and dedication, and in 2009 he joined the department’s Rapid Response Team.  As members of the team, they are each taught tactical skills, problem solving, and principles that help each team member learn how to be a leader within the team.

From the initial creation of the Gwinnett County, GA-Beat the Heat team in 2010, Deputy Younker stayed “in the loop” as to the development of the program, and on multiple occasions expressed an interest in joining the team when circumstances allowed.  In the fall of 2012 he approached the members of the team and laid out his plan.  He was adamant that he wanted to bring something different to Beat the Heat by using a car that no one else has ever used in the program, and that he expected would give us access to an untapped market.

Each year, the team had debuted a new vehicle, and each time it had been with the goal of reaching an audience not currently reflected in the vehicle lineup.  Rich clearly felt his idea would give the team access to a new audience of drivers who could be taught about Beat the Heat, Inc., and the principles the program strives to deliver by using a European Drag Sedan. His one-of-a-kind Volkswagen Jetta GLI Turbo was completed in the summer of 2013, and debuted at our team’s annual Jail Break Challenge a few weeks later.  It continues to be a “work in progress” project, and Rich has been extremely fortunate to gain support and assistance from some of the biggest names in the German Performance Car market.  

Visit the Jetta’s page to learn more about the car, and the amazing supporters who have helped build the fastest front-wheel-drive “pursuit vehicle.”