'Run with the Cops, Not from the Cops 5K' encourages positive police and community relationships
ELDON - The Miller County Sheriff's Office hosted its annual 5K for the 7th year on Saturday.
"Run with the Cops, Not from the Cops" is a 5K in Eldon and was designed to promote positive relationships between officers and community members, in addition to encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
Community members and runners can run or walk with Miller County deputies around the Eldon Air Park. David Hannon, Captain at the Miller County Sheriff's office, said the 5K is a chance for the community to interact with officers while off duty.
"We're normal people just like they are," Hannon said. "This gives us the chance to really interact with the community."
Cities like Minneapolis, Los Angeles and now Phoenix are facing protests over the death of George Floyd and police brutality. However, the Miller County 5K was not created in response to these events. It is a recurring event that is scheduled in Miller County every year.
Melinda Sykes is a runner from Barnett, Missouri. She explained events like the 5K are important in showcasing the positives of law enforcement.
"This definitely shows the good of what our law enforcement can bring," Sykes said. "You'll see there's no rioting or protesting here because we're all apart of the same community that helps each other."
Andrew Wickhel, a Sheriff's Deputy with the Miller County Sheriff's Office, said the department has a transparent policy with the public.
"I think there's always a concern for incidents like what we've seen [in Minneapolis]," Wickhel said. "We are very open with our policies, we implement our training and we discuss our training with the public so they can understand better what we do."
The 5K usually raises funds from Eldon businesses to donate to charity events put on by the Miller County Sheriff's Association, like "Shop with a Deputy". However due to COVID-19, the department isn't asking for sponsors this year. Instead, any donations are welcomed for future charity events.
Around 30 runners participated in the 5K that began at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.