BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) – People and police officers from all over the Quad Cities were at Crow Creek Park Saturday night to show their support for fallen officers.
“Anytime we lose an officer, and it doesn’t matter where they’re from, it hits home, every time we put that on,” Cpl. Joseph Sisler with the Eldridge Police Department said.
Sisler says recent officer-involved shootings across the nation have taken their toll on officers here in the Quad Cities, especially for him. Sisler has a friend works for the Dallas Police Department, who just got off her shift an hour before five officers were shot in the line of duty in July.
“It was pretty rough, it hits home, and especially when you hear about another officer that’s from somewhere else and they just lost a fellow officer, it hits them pretty hard and then it hits you pretty hard on top of that,” Sisler said.
Sisler said that’s why he ran in full uniform in the Officers Down 5K with many others.
“It’s to show respect for the officers that have lost their lives and their families,” Sisler said.
While it was a 5K for police officers, the Eldridge Fire Department joined in to support them. Those firefighters were also dressed in uniform from head to toe.
“The fire department is a family, but part of kind of our extended family is the police department,” Pat Gainer, a firefighter with the Eldridge Fire Department said. “We work hand-in-hand with them on pretty much, whether it’s a medical call or anything else, we work hand in hand together.”
“They’re always there for us too and just like we’re there for them and for them to come out and give up their day to come out here and show their support, it means a lot,” Sisler said.
Sisler says the support from the community is what makes the job worthwhile.
“It’s been great the support that we have received, I mean, it makes the job a little bit better for us going through the times that we’re going through now,” Sisler said.
Though this the first time this event has come to the Quad Cities, the Officers Down 5K has been raising money nationwide since 2011. Organizers plan on making it an annual event here.