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April 25. 2013 10:10PM

Seacoast runners lacing up again for charity

GREENLAND - A year after they hit the pavement just two weeks after Greenland Police Chief Michael Maloney was gunned down, more than 1,000 runners and walkers will lace up once again on Sunday.

The second annual Chief Maloney Unity Run & Walk will be held at 9 a.m. and will feature a 5.6-mile walk or run from the Portsmouth Police Department to the Greenland Police Department.

The charity event is being held to honor first responders from local communities with all of the proceeds benefitting the Chief Michael Maloney Memorial Fund.

"The run is to celebrate the unity between the public safety agencies that came together the night of the shooting as well as the Seacoast communities that supported us this past year. It is a day to continue to keep that bond strong," said Greenland police Sgt. Dawn Sawyer, a longtime friend of Maloney's who serves on the fund's board of directors.

Maloney was killed in a shootout during a drug raid at the Greenland home of Cullen Mutrie on April 12, 2012. Mutrie fired on members of the Attorney General's Drug Task Force, wounding four officers and killing Maloney when he tried to save the injured. Mutrie later killed his estranged girlfriend, Brittany Tibbetts before committing suicide.

As of Wednesday night, Sawyer said 1,141 had registered to participate in Sunday's event. People can continue to register through the weekend and on the day of the run/walk. Registration fee is $35.

A commemorative Chief Maloney No. 260 bib was auctioned off to the highest bidder, raising $502.50 for the memorial fund. The fund provides financial support to public safety members and their families injured or killed in the line of duty; provides scholarships to members of public safety agencies and their children or members of the community looking to enter the public safety field; and provides community grants in Maloney's memory or his interests, or for training or equipment for public safety agencies.

The run/walk comes nearly two weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Organizers of the event have urged people to participate as a way of showing their support for the law enforcement community and to stand up against violence.

"Monday was our biggest day for registrations. It's unclear if it was the bombing or people watching the weather for Sunday. Boston showed incredible strength and courage in the face of danger, with the community and public safety officers working hand in hand. That is the message that we want to continue, that it is not 'us against them.' We are all in this world together and have an equal part in making in the place we want to live and raise our families," Sawyer said.

Post run/walk activities include food from several local restaurants, live music, and a beer garden.

Sawyer said the event shows the true support in the community.

"Often the police are in an adversarial role and we forget that the vast majority of people support us, because it is the vocal minority we often hear. I think that Chief Maloney would be humbled to see how many lives he touched and maybe a little embarrassed at all the fuss. But I hope that we make him proud and celebrate his impact on the community," she said.

For more information, go to millenniumrunning.com/maloney or the Facebook page for the Chief Maloney Unity Run & Walk.



jschreiber@newstote.com


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