GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)-- Participants were running, walking, or strolling side-by-side with a first responder Thursday morning and police hope an event can help bridge the gap between law enforcement officers and the community.
Santa Fe College hosted its fifth annual “Run with the Cops."
“I've talked to people who said they never really talked to a cop outside of official capacity,” said Capt. Ryan Woods of the Santa Fe College Police Department. “So this is a way to meet and greet and find out that we're all people.”
The event gives the special needs community and first responders a chance to interact.
“This fifth annual is definitely one for the ages,” said Billy Moody, a participant in the event. “The walking and interacting with police officers and especially having a great time with all the foods."
Law enforcement agencies and health professionals were tabling to offer resources and safety tips to attendees.
“Definitely enjoy interacting with our special needs community also,” Woods said. “They should never fear us. If anything happens we should be the first line they run to not run away from.”
The event was sponsored by Kiss 105.3, Hurricane BTW, the Santa Fe College Foundation, and Alachua 10-42.
Krispy Kreme and Hurricane BTW provided food for the event.