It was cold and rainy, but that didn’t stop several U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees from running the National Police Week 5K on Saturday, May 12, in Washington, D.C.
The 5K was hosted by the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP) to honor fallen law enforcement officers by raising awareness to the sacrifices officers make every day. This year, more than 2,500 people participated in the 3.1 mile race that took runners from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and back via 3rd Street Northwest in front of the U.S. Capitol.
“I try to run or walk every year and I always try to get my family, especially my kids to run too,” said ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations Deportation Officer Vicente Carlos. “The children, parents, wives, husbands and friends of these officers that died will always have the pain of losing their loved one. Running the National Police Week 5K is just a small token to remember the sacrifices of officers that gave the ultimate price so that we may live in a safe and secure community.”
Tampa Supervisory Special Agent Michelle Bednar traveled from Florida to run. She initially got involved with Police Week when she was based at ICE headquarters from 2007-2011. Since returning to the field, Bednar has made a point to return to D.C. whenever she can for Police Week. In addition to running the 5K, Bednar went to the unity bike tour arrival, candlelight vigil, the Emerald Society Pipes parade and the Police Week ceremony at the U.S. Capitol.
“As fellow law enforcement officers, it is incumbent upon us to pay tribute to the memory and legacy of those who gave their lives in the line of duty by attending and participating in Police Week events,” said Bednar. “Police Week provides us a unique and special opportunity to demonstrate our love and support for the surviving family members, colleagues and friends of those who made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure our safety and security.”
The event raised more than $100,000 for the ODMP, Concerns of Police Survivors and the Blue Line Bears.