The Brookhaven Police Department is dedicating its annual “Hot Pursuit” 5K run to the memory of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a Minneapolis police officer in an incident that sparked nationwide protests against police brutality.
“The dedication was intended as an acknowledgement that every one of us — police and citizens together — has a responsibility to work collaboratively to ensure that the Constitutional rights of every person are protected,” BPD spokesperson Sgt. David Snively said.
The run, a tradition since 2014, has had the same name since its start, Snively said. He said the department has not received any complaints regarding the name or its dedication to Floyd.
In response to the police brutality protests, BPD also published a “Transparency Project” on social media which includes videos and posts about its use of force policies, training procedures and police demographics.
Because the department’s policies and procedures already “exceed state laws and state accreditation requirements,” Snively said there are no anticipated policing changes to come in Brookhaven.
The Hot Pursuit 5K Glow Run will be a virtual run because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants can run their own either 3.1-mile or 1.5-mile stretch anytime between Aug. 8 and 22 and submit their completion on the website.
The race will benefit the department’s “Shop with a Badge” Christmas program, where officers shop with underprivileged children at Target to pick out Christmas presents.
“Your participation is deeply appreciated and will bring a smile to a child’s face as they are able to experience the joy of opening gifts on Christmas morning,” the description reads.
The registration fee is $25 and includes a shirt, medal and glowstick. All proceeds go to the “Shop with a Badge” program. Participants can register from now until Aug. 21, but BPD recommends registration by Aug. 16 to guarantee their shirt size.
Participants can run their own course and track it with an app then submit that screenshot and view the results.
If people want to support the Christmas program but not complete the race, they can donate on the website. As of June 23, the department has raised $712 in donations.