Running to remember: Rocky Mount police officer honoring fallen heroes

He's running a 5K in full uniform to raise money for local memorial

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – A Rocky Mount police officer is running to pay tribute to police officers, firefighters and paramedics who've died in the line of duty.

Officer Brandt Gawor will run 3.1 miles in full uniform in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the National Police Week 5K.

"It's all in an effort to honor and pay tribute to the officers and to support the families, survivors that are left behind," Gawor said.

He wants to honor fallen first responders across the country and at home. Gawor wants to raise $3,100 for the Rocky Mount-Franklin County First Responders Memorial.

"It's part of the honor and tradition to pay respect to the ones that have gone before us," Gawor said.

Gawor has run the 5K before, but never in full uniform.

"The extra 22 to 24 pounds or so will be a little something, but it will be fine," Gawor said.

He's hoping that, by wearing his full uniform, badge and gun belt and carrying an American flag, he will grab people's attention and inspire them to donate to the cause.

"My first reaction is: the man's insane," said Matthew Hankins, the Rocky Mount assistant town manager. "That's going to take some dedication and effort. But he's gung-ho about supporting our memorial and we're glad to have somebody with that passion."

It's going to cost about $130,000 to install an engraved brick walkway, benches and landscaping at the memorial. Gawor wants it to be a peaceful place to reflect and remember.

"They are not forgotten. They are cared for. They are prayed for. And people like myself and the others that go out every single day and do that job that they used to do keep them in their thoughts," Gawor said. "This memorial will just be a beautiful tribute."

To donate to Gawor's GoFundMe, click here. Tax-deductible check and cash donations are also accepted at the Rocky Mount Police Department.

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