Sunday EMS Day to support new city park, Special Olympics, community relations

With olympian goals, a local pantheon of heroes are set to take the softball fields Sunday at Beaudry Park, run for medals and ladders?

Emergency Services Day athletes aren’t heading to Tokyo in 2020, but the police officers, firefighters and paramedics are competing with the triple goal of supporting local Special Olympics athletes, creating a city obstacle park and funding the Office of Community Policing.

The day kicks off at 9 a.m. with a “Foot Pursuit” 5K run/walk at 9 a.m. starting at the Scammel Street Park, looping around Tompkins, Levydale, Louise, Lansing and Owego streets, before finishing back at Beaudry Park. The proceeds from the race support the city’s Office of Community Policing, a donation and federal-grant funded office that focuses on building relationships between officers and residents.

The softball tournament will start at 9:30 a.m. and feature teams of police officers, TLC ambulance and emergency medical service employees, and a combined Homer fire and police department team, said Joe Peters, a city patrolman and organizer. A concession stand and chicken barbecue will keep spectators (and participants) fed, with the proceeds going to support the Special Olympics.

The City Police Department’s police dogs, K-9 Officers Rush and Lummel, will also be there to show off their prowess, said Jesse Abbott, the Community Police Officer who is also assisting with the  event.

City firefighters will be there to conduct equipment demonstrations and a LifeNet Helicopter is also set to join in the festivities.

SAFE CHILD identification cards will also be available for free thanks to the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office, which is set to make the cards at the park within a few minutes. The cards include a child’s fingerprints and a high-resolution photograph, according to the department.

The Cortland Police Benevolent Association is raising money to create a new city park, complete with an obstacle course to promote fitness and fun for city youths, said Jesse Abbott, city patrolman, union president and a member of the events’ organizational triumvirate. The PBA is raffling off a $6,000 John Deere X390 Lawn Tractor, along with a Craftsman tool chest and smaller mower, with $20 tickets that can be purchased through the organization’s Facebook page.