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Police appreciation 'Blue Crew' race set for Saturday

Posted: June 19, 2014 - 5:42pm

The Blue Crew, a local grassroots nonprofit dedicated to giving the citizens of Conway another way of showing their appreciation for law enforcement officers, will be holding a memorial 5k race in downtown Conway on Saturday.

The Officer Will McGary Memorial 4.74k Run will start at 6 p.m. at the Conway Corp. building at 1307 Prairie Street. It was originally planned to have the run start at the Fallen Officers memorial at the Conway Police Department, Blue Crew President and founder Melody Erickson said, but that would have put the course running across the train tracks, and probably it was best not have participants jogging in place while the train went through.

Erickson and McGary, her boyfriend, moved to Arkansas in 2010, and McGary started a career with the Conway Police Department. On Jan. 31, 2013, he was working a traffic accident on Dave Ward Drive when he was hit and killed by a driver.

Erickson said that she founded the Blue Crew in McGary’s honor, but that she wants it to honor the Conway officers who “are going to work every day at a job where they risk their life.”

“To me, it all comes down to the idea of appreciation for what law enforcement officers do,” she said.

“Most people go to work and you’re not risking your life. You’re sitting at your desk and you don’t have people you meet cussing at you for no good reason. Most people don’t have a job where every day they run into people that just dread the sight of them. For them to go to work like that and not feel appreciated … I can’t imagine anything worse for morale.

“I know the majority of people in this community do appreciate them, and I want my organization to give them the best way possible to express that appreciation,” she said.

The Blue Crew raises money to send local officers to National Police Week in Washington D.C. The intent is to give as many local officers as possible the chance to take part in National Police Week and join the nationwide fraternity of law enforcement officers there, Erickson said.

Erickson is hoping to grow The Blue Crew, and is asking the community for support and seeking people to volunteer at upcoming events.

Runners can register at bluecrewarkansas.com or at the event.

(Staff writer Joe Lamb, can be reached by email at joe.lamb@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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