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Arlington to host 5K honoring fallen police officers this May

2022 National Police Week 5K in Rosslyn in 2022 (via Diplomatic Security Service/Flickr)

Arlington will be hosting a 17-year-old race to honor police officers who have died in the line of duty.

This is the second time that the county will host participants in the National Police Week 5K. The 17th annual event will be held on May 13.

Last year, racers ran from Rosslyn to the Pentagon in the first in-person race since the onset of the pandemic. The race was held virtually in 2020 and 2021 and pre-Covid, it was held in D.C.

“We chose Arlington for several reasons, the main reason being the location,” said event spokeswoman Amy Herrera. “Arlington is a beautiful city with a strong and active community.”

The race is also an opportunity to signal support for living officers, per the race website.

“Between a devastating pandemic, intense public scrutiny, and heightened civil unrest, the challenges our officers face continue to grow,” it says. “Whether you’ve witnessed this firsthand or as a police supporter, the NPW5K is your opportunity to help revive the camaraderie that our community needs now more than ever.”

National Police Week draws upwards of 40,000 people to the capital to honor the law enforcement officers who died on the job, per the event’s website.

“Tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events which honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” the website says.

President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as “Peace Officers Memorial Day” in 1962 and the week in which that date falls as Police Week, the website said. Officers began holding a memorial service in 1982, which has since expanded to include a series of events, such as the 5K.

The race is sponsored by the Officer Down Memorial Page, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring some 26,000 fallen law enforcement officers.

Online race registration is currently open. People can run in-person in Arlington or “virtually” by running a 5K from home. The course takes runners around the perimeter of the Pentagon, down Richmond Hwy, across Army Navy Drive and up Washington Blvd, via S. Joyce Street and Columbia Pike.

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