Running With The Law Returns For Third Year
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Running with the Law program returned to the streets of North Adams recently for the third time with some new faces.
There are only two rules to running with the local police officers: stay in line and wave to everyone you see.
"The kids seem to enjoy it and it is something to do," Police Officer David Sherman said. "It is kind of our weekend morning thing ... it keeps us in shape and we get to interact with a lot of kids that normally only see us on shift."
Former North Adams Police Officer David Lemieux started the weekend running program with now-retired Brayton Elementary school teacher James Holmes in 2015. Lemieux and Holmes, both avid runners, wanted to create a program that encouraged healthy habits and positive interactions with police officers.
"Other than teaching, running and riding my bike are my two favorite things," Holmes told a dozen young runners before group stretching. "The police wanted to make sure this program stayed alive and that you guys stayed fit."
Holmes noted that most of the kids running that Saturday morning were new to the program and the officers gave a special welcome to fifth-grader Zach Hillard, who has cerebral palsy but was excited to run with the police officers.
"I came here to run, not stand," Hillard said as a Halloween-costumed Holmes went over the running route.
Hillard said he did some stretching before he came down to the police station and was glad to run with the officers – many who have become friends.
"I stretched a little bit before and I am excited to do this. I became good friends with a lot of these guys," Hillard said.
Sherman, who has taken over the program, said it is important to keep the program going. He said it’s not only good for the kids to interact with the police but for the police to interact with the kids.
"We are just running with what Dave started," he said. "It is a great program."
Tags: north adams police, running, youth programs,
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