FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 4, 2013) – Surpassing its goal of 720 runners, the Fort Myers Police Department recorded a total of 841 registered runners, including 43 children younger than 12, who took part in this year’s Cops & Joggers 5K held on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Centennial Park.

Benefitting fallen police officers and firefighters, this year’s event was held during the evening hours with the glow of first responders’ lights lining the race path. Beginning at 7:45 p.m., the 3.1-mile run began and ended at Centennial Park, crossing the Edison Bridge southbound. Since its conception, the Cops & Joggers 5K has attracted an average of 386 runners, making this year’s participation the largest turnout to date.

“Since our first race on Oct. 25, 2008 to this year’s race on Sept. 28, 720 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. It was an honor to have each runner represent a fallen comrade as they participated in this 5K,” said Lieutenant Jeffrey Bernice of the FMPD “Our gratitude goes out to the sponsors, runners, walkers, volunteers and every person who made this event a success. We will never forget the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Featuring DJ Nestor Barreiro, the event included bounce houses, face painting, obstacle courses and food vendors including Bajio Mexican Grill, Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders, Kona Ice, McCarter’s BBQ, Uncle Roy’s Kettle Corn and Fro Yo Frozen Yogurt.

Sponsors for the event included Allied Portables, Alligator Towing & Recovery, AmeriGas, Black Cat Embroidery, Bajio Mexican Grill, Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders, Calusa Nature Center, Colonial Country Club, CrossFit 239, DJ Nestor Barreiro, Fleamasters Fleamarket, FMPD Chief Doug Baker, FMPD’s SWAT, Fowler Firearms & Gun Range LLC, Fox 92.5, Frank B. Jean LMT, Hodges University, JetBlue Airways, Keiser University, Military Closet, Pain Management Consultants of Southwest Florida, Quality Custom Window Tinting, Run Florida on McGregor, Scanlon Lexus, Sprint, Suncoast Beverage, Survival Armor, UPS and more.

The Fort Myers Cops & Joggers 5K was first established in 2008 to assist the family of Officer Andrew Widman who was shot and killed in the line of duty on July 18, 2008. Proceeds from this year’s event benefit fallen officer Sergeant Mike Wilson’s family, the FMPD Fallen Officers Memorial Fund and The Brotherhood Ride, both organizations aid the families of fallen police officers and firefighters who have been injured or killed in the line of duty.

For more information about the event, contact Lieutenant Jeffrey Bernice at or 239-321-7698.

Lieutenant Victor Medico and Matt Chitwood

Valerie Rodriguez with Keilin, 3 and Kealie Hernandez, 4

Tim Sullivan with Eddy

Terry Maik, Danielle LaMay, Julianne DeCotis and Chelsea Ciulla

Ray Schilke III and Ray Schilke, Jr.

David and Rhonda Isom with Kaye and Jim Molnar

Coleman, Deputy Corey and Brooke Roberts

Cassandra, Chris and Judy Shepherd

Chris Camacho, first-place runner

Ashley and Danny White