Det. Gus Martinez, who has been with the LAPD since 1994, rode the 130-foot-tall Pacific Ferris Wheel on the Santa Monica pier for 25 hours straight.
Martinez, who admits he's not fond of heights, took on the challenge to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics of Southern California.
His son, Jason, has Down syndrome and has won more than 30 gold medals in Special Olympics swimming competitions.
Jason joined his father periodically in the Ferris wheel gondola, and was by his side when he officially broke the record.
Martinez lit the Southern California Law Enforcement torch on the front of his gondola on Thursday.
After breaking the record, Martinez and his son passed off the torch to their team members.
It will travel by relay to Cal State Long Beach, the site of the Special Olympics Summer Games.
During his 25-hour ride, Martinez wasn't allowed to sleep, and he only got a five-minute bathroom break each hour.
Martinez said his long shifts as a detective with the LAPD helped prepare him for the challenge.
Park officials made several accommodations to give Martinez a more comfortable ride.
They installed special seating with additional padding, and attached a solar panel so that he had electricity to power his flat-screen TV, iPad and cellphone.
Martinez said the hardest part was getting over some queasiness during the afternoon on Thursday.
"About the fourth hour into the event, when the wheel went public and it started the stop and go motion that was harder," he said.
"The gondola would swing a little more, and I just had to get over that."
The public was invited to ride the Ferris wheel for $5 during Pacific Park's exclusive after-hours on Thursday from 8 p.m. to midnight.
All the proceeds are going to the Special Olympics of Southern California.
Donations can also be made at http://www.pacpark.com/worldrecord/.
All donors will receive a $10 off coupon Sports Authority.
Donors can also guess how many rotations the Ferris wheel made its during the 25-hour ride.
The person who gets the closest without going over will get a one-hour private ride with four guests, as well as dinner from The Lobster restaurant.