The 8th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Run stopped in College Park, Md. on Wednesday, May 12, at the Holiday Inn.
Koehler said that approximately 93 participants are running this year. More than just police officers participate in this annual run. Families, survivors, law enforcement officials and friends all make the three-day journey from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.
The run is joined by new runners along the way and Koehler said that anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 runners participate throughout the three days, joining in different cities.
It started Tuesday and will end Wednesday at the National Police Memorial, where traditionally the race ends on the same day as the Annual Candlelight Vigil.
The run started with only two participants, including James Harrity, a Co-Director of the event, representing Concern of Police Survivors (COPS) and The Pennsylvania Federal Order of Police.Photo By Officer.Com Gloucester Township Police Department, Camden County, NJ patrol officer Tracey Holmes and Detective Brian Beck finish running in College Park
The son of a Baltimore Police Officer, Christopher Alvarez, 17, participated for the first time in the run. Alvarez said he was running with friends who happen to be the sons of his father's boss. They are survivors.
"I'm running in their brother's memory," he said.
Jennifer Chun, a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia, said she runs because through her job she comes in contact with a lot of law enforcement. She said she runs for those who, "put themselves in danger every day."
Karen Straney, with the Inline Skater Club in Pennsylvania, said her group has been "rolling support for seven years."
"We have an amazing relationship with Philadelphia Police," she said.
Accompanying her team on the run for the first time is the Patterson family, who lost their father and husband last year. "It's great for the runners to see them and interact with the survivors," she said.
Also participating in run are mother and daughter team Donna and Sarah LaMonaco. The daughter and wife of a New Jersery State Trooper killed in the line of duty, they recieved a flag that was flown over Ground Zero for their work at the site. According to Straney, they take it with them on the run each year.
The run will begin again Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m. Harrity said more participants from the Prince Georges County, Md. Police Department are expected to join.