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Salisbury Police Department to host Foot Pursuit 5K Run/Walk

Community Calendar

SALISBURY — If you see someone running through downtown dressed as a convict and being chased by a bunch of runners on Saturday, relax. It’s part of the Salisbury Police Department’s Foot Pursuit 5K Run/Walk.

The 3.1-mile night run will take runners through downtown Salisbury and benefits Special Olympics North Carolina. The run begins at 7 p.m. with day-of registration at 5:45 p.m.

The idea for the race came about after the Police Department’s command staff began brainstorming ideas that would allow officers to interact with the community and do something positive at the same time, said race coordinator Lt. Patrick Smith.

“We wanted to put on an event that would include community involvement and raise money for a charitable organization,” Smith said.

He said it is also something the community could do with law officers that is not necessarily police-related.

Smith has for years coordinated the Police Department’s participation in the Torch Run, which also raises money for Special Olympics. He said this run will help raise more through business and community partnerships.

Some officers are participating, but the majority of them will work behind the scenes and help block off the streets so runners and walkers can safely navigate the course.

Smith said Police Chief Jerry Stokes and his family are participating.

Smith has been involved with the Special Olympics organization for more than 30 years through his brother, Benji, who is a Special Olympics athlete. Not only has Patrick Smith participated in the Torch Run for the last several years, but he is a certified N.C. golf coach for the Special Olympics.

Th run coincides with National Police Week. The Police Department will also participate in the Torch Run later this month.

Anyone who has not registered can do so before the run at 5:45 p.m. or visit www.salisburyrowanrunners.org to register online.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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