Police memorial run kicks off Thursday at Queen’s Park

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(Photo: Peel Regional Police)

Cops are lacing up for a three-day, 460 km run to Ottawa Thursday in honour of their fallen comrades.

“This is a special event to me. It means a lot,” said Peel Regional Police Sgt. Matt Small.

He’s one of 30 Peel members joining nearly 300 officers from across Ontario.

“Many different patches, if you will,” are running under one banner, Small said.

The 11th annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial Run kicks off at the Ontario Police Memorial across from Queen’s Park at 8:15 a.m.

Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Yasir Naqvi, and sportscaster Don Cherry are sending them off.

The event leads up to the Canadian Peace and Police Officers’ Memorial Service, held each year on the last Sunday in September on Parliament Hill.

Several members of Survivors of Law Enforcement will be joining the runners, including Erin Ochakovsky.

Her husband, Peel Const. James Ochakovsky, 36, was killed March 2, 2010 in a crash en route to helping a fellow officer.

“Your physical pain, it doesn’t compare to the pain in that person’s heart,” said Small.

Six to eight cops are killed each year, according to thememorial.ca; thousands will gather on the Hill for a tribute Sunday morning.

Follow the run online via Twitter and Facebook.

-Kelly Roche

@qewsouthpost

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