The Advance-Titan

Cop run benefits local Special Olympics

Alex Nemec

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Officer Matt Ziegler shows his dog, Jack, to Allie Ferron and her son, along with Megan Hankwitz. Running With the Cops had multiple service dogs along with horses the attendees could interact with. Alex Nemec | The Advance-Titan

Officer Matt Ziegler shows his dog, Jack, to Allie Ferron and her son, along with Megan Hankwitz. Running With the Cops had multiple service dogs along with horses the attendees could interact with.

MyTeam Triumph members participate in Run With the Cops on Thursday. The event raised more than $49,000.Jessica Martinez | The Advance-Titan

MyTeam Triumph members participate in Run With the Cops on Thursday. The event raised more than $49,000.

The University Police Department raised more than $49,000 for Special Olympics of Wisconsin during the third annual Run With the Cops event held at UW Oshkosh, according to UPD Capt. Chris Tarmann.
The Oct. 6 5k run brought participants on a course throughout the campus area, which was lit up by law enforcement vehicle lights.
The event had a mini petting zoo with horses and dogs, a donut eating contest, a makeshift jail cell where attendees could take pictures with a cop and exhibits inside of police vehicles,.
Director of Development of the Special Olympics Nicci Sprangers said there were more than 25 law enforcement agencies at the event including UPD, the Oshkosh Police Department and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department.
“Special Olympics has been fortunate enough to have the support of law enforcement for over 30 years,” Sprangers said.
Sprangers said it is a great thing for the community to see the officers in funny, light-hearted scenarios.
“Slowly that helps to make people have a much more positive outlook [on cops],” Sprangers said.
Tarmann said his favorite part of the event was when everyone was lined up at the start, because that’s when UPD finally knew they made the event possible.
“We’ve got all these people here that are kind of interacting and having a great time,” Tarmann said. “But when you get everyone in that road and they’re excited to kickoff and run with people in uniform, that’s really exciting.”
There were a lot of Special Olympics athletes that participated in the event, according to Sprangers.
“They love knowing that all the officers are here to support them,” Sprangers said.
Student Athletic Advisory Committee member Colan Treml said he came to the event to support the cops and help out with the event.
Treml said Special Olympics is an important organization for the UWO community as well as the country.
“Raising money for [Special Olympics] always gets them in better situations to succeed,” Treml said.
Sprangers said her favorite part of the event was the vehicle display that featured multiple cop cars from area agencies, a fire truck, an ambulance and a SWAT van.
“It’s really where the most interaction between the officers and the community takes place,” Sprangers said.
As for the donut eating contest, Tarmann said he didn’t have a favorite going into the contest, but the strategy was to just eat the donuts as fast as possible.
Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant April Emmrich, along with her three kid-teammates, ended up winning the contest, eating all of their donuts in a little over two minutes.
Sprangers said Special Olympics does events similar to this, but Run With the Cops is the cherry on top of their list.
“It takes the cake because, although we do a number of events, nothing to this scale of bringing so many agencies from around the area out to show that they support our athletes,” Sprangers said.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Cop run benefits local Special Olympics