BIG RAPIDS – Area runners: tighten your laces and head to Kalamazoo for the seventh annual Kazoo Area Foot Chase on Sept. 6 at Celery Flats in Portage – this year dedicated to Ferris State University Criminal Justice alumna and slain police officer Jessica Nagel-Wilson.
The Kazoo Area Foot Chase is a benefit for Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors (MI-COPS). MI-COPS is a non-profit organization that supports the survivors of Michigan police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Nagel-Wilson (pictured at right), a Hazel Park police officer, was gunned down in the line of duty on July 26, 2002.
“This is a very special event dedicated to a very special person and we are proud to be a sponsor,” said Frank Crowe, director of Ferris’ School of Criminal Justice. “In our Law Enforcement Academy each year, every cadet is required to know Jessica’s story.
“Thanks to Jessica’s parents, we have been able to award a $1,000 scholarship to an outstanding Criminal Justice student the last two years,” Crowe added.
The Kazoo Area Foot Chase is a 3.5-mile run patterned as a police foot chase in pursuit of a fleeing suspect. The unconventional course may include fences, fields, business districts, neighborhoods and buildings. “Witnesses” located along the route give the only clues where to go next. The course is not certified, but the event is timed. Awards go to the top two times in each age category (male/female). Prizes also go to runners who catch a suspect or recover contraband along the way. An additional prize to the first police/corrections officer or dispatcher (ID required) across the finish line is also given.
A 2.5 mile, non-competitive walking event also is being offered as part of this year’s event.
Registration is from 7 to 8:30 a.m., with the race beginning at 9 a.m. Entry is $20 and forms are available at www.kazoofootchase.com. For more information, call (269) 321-9264.