The Sgt. Steven Meredith 5K Fun Run held on Jan. 11 was deemed a success by all participants.
According to planner Amanda Mason, about 300 people were expected, but so many people arrived on Saturday morning that the event ran out of runners tags and had to use envelope labels to make up the lack. She estimated around 330 people attended.
“We had Border Patrol come by the busload the night before,” Mason said.
Meredith was injured in the line of duty on Oct. 21, 2013 when he was helping with traffic control on Hwy. 285 while New Mexico State Police conducted an investigation. A commercial vehicle plowed into a pickup truck that was legally stopped at the road block, killing the driver. The truck then careened into the median strip, hitting the Roswell Police Department sergeant.
Some people found the event so much fun that they suggested it become an annual event.
“We hope that Steve will be better next year, but the RPD spouses have discussed setting up an injured officers fund,” Mason said.
For those who question the need, Mason pointed out that not all medical expenses are met. There may be medical complications and specialized equipment, such as special footgear, not covered by insurance.
“Workman’s Comp provides 63 percent of his salary and he still has normal living expenses to cover. He has children, he has groceries, utilities and car payments just like everyone else. Most people only make it from paycheck to paycheck. What would happen to them if they had suddenly to live on 63 percent of their normal income?”
However, Mason emphasized that the emotional support was invaluable. “Steve came and he watched (the race). I know he was shocked when he saw runner after runner as they rounded the curve of the track. He saw literally hundreds of people. He realized people do care about him and the RPD.”
All totaled, the Sgt. Steve Meredith 5K Fun Run collected more than $10,000.
“I didn’t do this alone. It took hundreds of people to accomplish this. We had people just stop off to make a donation.”
She gave thanks to everyone who contributed — Starbucks, who donated the coffee; the officers’ wives who provided baked goods; Bob Edwards and the Roswell’s Runners Club and Parks and Recreation.
Plans for future runs, she said, would have to be researched before they could set up an injured officers fund.
Mason also said, well-wishers who want to send a get-well card or a Valentine to Meredith should address them to: Steve c/o Hair for Heather, 111 E. Third St. Roswell, NM 88201.