Annual 5K in Tupelo honors memory of fallen law officers

Hundreds turn out for 'Blessed are the Peacemakers' 5K

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Hundreds of people laced up their running shoes and took part in a 5K supporting those who put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve.

Before this 5K begins, a procession of blue lights honors the memory of those who paid the ultimate price protecting and serving.

“We have three officers represented in the fallen officer line.  That is never a good thing but to remember their name is a great thing and we’re glad to be part of it every year,” said Monroe County Sheriff Kevin Crook.

More than 360 runners took part in this year’s “Blessed are the Peacemakers” 5K.  The event is hosted by “Wives of Warriors”, a support group for spouses of law enforcement officers. The 5K is a way to help make sure officers come home to their families at the end of each shift. Proceeds purchase body armor for officers throughout the region.

“It means a lot, that means my husband all of our husbands can come home safe to us and our children every night,” said Elizabeth Strickland, of Wives of Warriors.

Runners and sponsors said they’re honored to help those who keep our communities safe.

“It’s important to know how much heart they have and it’s important to do this run so they are protected, families are supported, making sure they get that support they deserve and need daily,” said Ron Cottom, the Blind Eye DJ, who hosts the event.

“I grew up in a law enforcement family and my Dad is a retired Game and Fish officer, John Collum was a distant cousin of mine who passed away a few years ago, it’s important to support law enforcement and to support this cause of giving vests to local law enforcement,” said Murray Collum.

And for the second year in a row, a friendly competition took place between the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and Tupelo Police Department to see which agency could sign up the most runners.

“Last year the sheriff’s department won, and Chief Quaka had to wear Mississippi State attire, this year the wager on the table is he would drive our work center bus, or I would wash cars, we are awaiting results, but I think we did it again and I’m getting the bus washed for him to drive this next week,” said Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson.

Officers receiving vests will be fitted this summer, and the vests should be delivered in the fall.

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