Community Outreach Spotlight
Run with the Police
Submitted by Chief Dana Wingert of the Des Moines, Iowa, Police Department.
In 2015 the chief of the Des Moines, Iowa, Police Department (DMPD) spoke with a local businessman about positive police involvement with the community. The individual gave the agency $25,000 and asked that 1) the money be used to bring DMPD and the community closer together and 2) he remain anonymous.
The chief developed the idea of a fun run, with the profits going to charity. DMPD started work on the first Run with the Police and, early on, identified the Special Olympics of Iowa as the charity that would receive the event’s proceeds. The date of the run was set for the last Saturday of Police Week, which is in May.
The run itself is a 5K race that starts and ends at DMPD headquarters in downtown Des Moines. Runners pass many of the Police Week displays set up for the public to enjoy. After the run, there are rock walls, face painters, a zoo presentation, and more activities for everyone to enjoy.
In 2015, 600 runners signed up. This number has risen every year, with 800 participants registering in 2017. Along with the yearly increase in runners, donations also have risen. Since 2015, the DMPD’s Run with the Police has raised nearly $80,000 for the Special Olympics of Iowa.
Chief Wingert can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.