Blessed are the Peacemakers 5K raises money for police officers

Annual event is organized to show support for those who protect and serve

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – As runners were lined up at the starting line, a procession of blue lights honoring fallen officers made its way into Fairpark.

Blessed are the Peacemakers is organized by a group known as Wives of Warriors. Amanda Merrill is president of the organization and says this 5K helps provide potentially life-saving equipment for officers.

“It is important because not every department can afford these vests and they expire, so there are not the funds to put vests on every officer, so we try and do our best with this fundraising and purchase some of those vests for officers who otherwise would not have a vest,” Merrill said.

As runners started the race, they passed by photos of officers from the region who died in the line of duty.

Before today, J.J. Jasper had never run a 5K, but he wanted to show his support for those behind the badge.

“What better run than the peacekeepers 5K, the way our officers protect and serve, what a great cause and I’m here with my son Bodie, it’s a great opportunity to see everyone get healthy and what a wonderful thing to do for a great cause,” Jasper said.

Several runners, including myself, are part of the part-time police academy at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

PT is a regular part of the academy, and Sheriff Kevin Crook says the 5K is another team-building exercise.

“We always say, there will never be another Class one, there will never be another Class 4 either, this class is unique in its way, there are a lot of good guys, good women in this academy, everyone looks PT will make it, glad y’all came out today, y’all might get some extra points for this,” Sheriff Crook said.

Class four cadets say that all of the training and hard work not only prepared them for this 5K but is preparing them for patrol duty.

“We came together as a family to help one another, it’s something we can carry on after graduation and I’m excited to see us finish I have appreciated all the training that has been physically and mentally trying but it’s what we needed,” said Cadet Katelyn Johnson.

“The class has been really fun, the guys and Katelyn and everybody come together well, having each other’s back,   it has been a very eye-opening experience,  very fun, lot of stuff to learn, getting ready to learn more as we graduate and continue,” said Cadet Thomas Foley.

Through the years, the Blessed are the Peacemakers 5K has provided 222 law officers with body armor.   Organizers are hoping this year’s race puts the life-saving gear on many more officers.

If you missed out on today’s run, you can get information on how to donate by searching for Wives of Warriors at

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