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Police officers, youth dip into frigid waters to raise money for MD Special Olympics

Members of the Bel Air Police Department Explorers Post 9010 and Bel Air Police Department officers participated in the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park Friday.
Members of the Bel Air Police Department Explorers Post 9010 and Bel Air Police Department officers participated in the Maryland State Police Polar Bear Plunge at Sandy Point State Park Friday. (Courtesy Bel Air Police Department)

Police officers and representatives from Aberdeen, Bel Air and Havre de Grace police departments braved frigid temperatures last week and raised thousands of dollars for Maryland Special Olympics.

The Police Plunge, part of the Maryland Polar Bear Plunge, on Friday featured officers and civilians from Harford’s three municipal departments running into the freezing waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

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Ten officers from Havre de Grace Police Department, and sons of two of them, raised $3,265, according to Cpl. Daniel Petz.

“People really came through,” Petz said. “It’s such an awesome program and it’s neat that we are ambassadors for Special Olympics to draw attention to what they do.”

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Petz was the top fundraiser for the Havre de Grace Police Warriors, collecting $585; his son, Kyle, 9, a student at Meadowvale Elementary in Havre de Grace, raised $75.

The pair plunged into the bay Friday.

Petz had to plunge twice. He had made a pact with his colleagues he would go under water. When he and his son ran in, Kyle got up to his belly button and was done, so Petz carried him out.

“Then I had to run back in to get under,” he said. “I actually thought it was refreshing. It didn’t feel that bad to me.”

Petz was told the water was about 45 degrees, and the air temperature “definitely felt cold” because the wind was constant.

Nico Cokewell, 12, a student at Southampton Middle in Bel Air, raised $200; his father, Jeffery Cokewell, raised $310. He had planned to plunge Friday but was unable to because he was sick.

“It’s good for Special Olympics to have this good relationship with law enforcement,” Petz said. “It’s really inspiring.”

Bright white dress shirt, pressed pants, badge and all, Bowie Police Chief John Nesky ran into the Chesapeake Bay on Friday morning to support Special Olympics Maryland.

Also participating from Havre de Grace Police Department were Teresa Adams, $100; Joseph Alton, $115; Phililp Goertz, $455; Jonathan Krass, $450; Phillip Paciocco, $75; Jonathan Sova, $215; and Chief Teresa Walter, $100. Team gifts were $585.

Aberdeen Police Department’s team raised $2,060, led by Jason Neidig, who raised $920. Also raising money and plunging were Rick Clark, $125; Andrew Davis, $100; Candace Markiewicz, $75; Will Reiber, $285; Stefani Spector, $95; Robert Tice, $75; and David Yip, $75. Team gifts totaled $310.

Members of Bel Air Police Department Explorers Post 9010 were joined by Bel Air Police officers Friday for the plunge and raised $3,430.

The BAVFC Plungers, consisting of Alexandra Page and Ryan Kregel, raised a combined $240 for Special Olympics.

Donations are still being accepted and can be made at http://somd.convio.net/site/PageNavigator/MSP_Polar_Bear_Plunge.html.

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