RUN TO REMEMBER GBI AGENT

 SAVANNAH, GA (October 5, 2012) Twenty-five recruits and as many as 175 fellow officers, family members and volunteers will honor a slain GBI agent and other law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty Thursday, Oct. 18.

 The quarterly “Run to Remember” will take place on Shawnee Street near Savannah Mall and proceed to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab and Field Office on Mohawk Street.

 Graduating members of the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department Patrol School stage the approximately 1.5-mile run to recognize the 51 law enforcement officers from Chatham County who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

 Specifically, this run will honor GBI Special Agent William Levi DeLoach who died in a helicopter crash along with three U.S. Customs Service agents July 14, 1993. The helicopter struck power lines over the Altamaha River near Hortense, GA.

 The recruits are joined by other police officers from various are departments, family members of slain officers, future colleagues at SCMPD and members of the public. Also attending will be the agent’s parents, relatives, former GBI Deputy Director Roy Harris, now chief deputy of the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, other GBI Special Agents in Charge, and some 45 recruits in the GBI training academy in Forsyth, GA.

 The SCMPD school and the run are conducted under the direction of Police Chief Willie Lovett, who began the tradition in 2011 to illustrate to incoming recruits the serious nature of the work they are beginning and to honor those who have lost their lives doing it. Later that afternoon, the recruits will be sworn in as officers in a pinning ceremony at the Savannah Civic Center.

 The events end 19 weeks of intensive training, including six weeks at the Public Safety Training Center Regional Police Academy in Garden City, and the beginning of an additional 10 weeks of one-on-one training with a field training officer before they begin patrolling on their own.

 Participants will stage at 9 a.m. in the parking lot on the Shawnee Street side of Savannah Mall. The run will begin at 10 a.m., proceeding east on Shawnee to Apache Avenue,  right on Apache to Abercorn, left on Abercorn to Middleground Road, and left on Middleground to Dutchtown Road. It then will turn right on Dutchtown to Mohawk and end at the lab in the 900 block of Mohawk.

 After the run, a wreath honoring Agent DeLoach will be placed in front of the GBI office with remarks by Chief Deputy Harris. Pastor C. MeGill Brown of Second African Baptist Church will deliver the prayers.

 Anyone wishing to run may simply show up before the event, but is asked to contact Training Officer Aaron Washington at 667-1830.

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