The sound of running feet filled the air on June 16 as men, women and children took part in the annual Jeremy Bitner Memorial run and walk. The starting and finish lines were in Cornerstone Park, …
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The sound of running feet filled the air on June 16 as men, women and children took part in the annual Jeremy Bitner Memorial run and walk. The starting and finish lines were in Cornerstone Park, with the route winding through the streets of the area.
The event is held in memory of Englewood Police Detective Jeremy Bitner, lost his life in the line of duty on May 28, 2012, after being struck and killed by a vehicle while performing a traffic stop.
Jeremy served the Englewood Police Department for eight years and during that time was assigned to patrol and SWAT and served as a field training officer.
Proceeds raised from The Jeremy Bitner Fallen Memorial 5K/10K Run benefit the Fallen Officer Fund, to assist the families of fallen law enforcement officers in Colorado.
Englewood Police Officer Chad Read has headed the group organizing the memorial event since it began the year after Bitner's death.
“Each year it the event gets bigger with more participants, sponsors and vendors,” he said. “The money from entry, sponsor donations and vendor fees pays for event expenses including things like providing the T-shirts and renting the street barricades. The money raised after expenses are paid goes into the Fallen Officer Fund.”
He said the Fallen Officer Fund is available to families of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
“We help those families financially so they are able to pay their mortgages, their bills and put food on their tables,” he said. “Our goal at this event is to raise about $10,000 each year. The proceeds from the event has been used to assist 13 families of fallen officers from law enforcement agencies around the state, which include members of the state patrol, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the Littleton Police Department.”
He said there has been great support for the event from law enforcement agencies around the state. He said members of about a dozen agencies are either taking part in the run or walk of helping out with duties like traffic control.
Castle Rock Police Officer Jake Coyle was one of the officers who rode bicycles ahead of the field to provide additional safety for the runners and walkers.
“It is great to support this run and help the law enforcement community by helping the families of fallen officers,” he said. “I have done this for a couple years and it is great to see so many people here to run or walk to support the event and I am glad to do what I can to help keep the runners and walkers safe.”
The runners and walkers followed the same basic route except the route was longer for the longer runs, so those running 10 kilometers started first, followed by the five-kilometer runners and finally by the walkers.
Garrick Storgaard, a member of the Parker District Attorney's Office, made the 5K run pushing two children in a stroller.
“It is great to be out there to support this event. I came to support the memory of fallen officer Bitner. I think it is great that so many men, women and children came out to take part in this event,” he said as he caught his breath after crossing the finish line. “The route was a good one but I will have to say it was a little bit of a challenge pushing the double stroller.”
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