Chesterton Tribune



26 mile run honors 26 Chesterton officers

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Last week Matthew Anderson ran a marathon dedicated to the Chesterton Police Department: one mile for each of the CPD’s 26 officers.

He did it at Dogwood Park, over six nights, after work, in the dark: Anderson’s way of marking National Police Week, May 10-16, and making it personal.

Anderson, 18, a CHS senior and a Chesterton resident, had the idea to hit the bricks a couple of weeks ago, in the run-up to National Police Week. “I thought it would be cool just to run a mile for every officer on the police department,” he told the Chesterton Tribune.

To Anderson’s way of thinking, it was the least he could do for his town’s peace officers. “They mean a lot to me,” he said. “They mean dedication, courage, leadership. They’re good officers.”

They are, in fact, role models for Anderson, whose career goal is to serve as a trooper and K-9 handler with the Indiana State Police. Anderson is currently taking a criminal justice and investigations course taught by a retired Valparaiso PD detective, Curt Hawkins, at the Law Enforcement Career Academy, headquartered at Wheeler High School. “By running and representing each Chesterton police officer for every mile he’s run shows Matt’s dedication and complete respect for law enforcement,” Hawkins said. “He initiated this tribute himself. This is just one example of how students are responding in a positive manner to this pandemic. There are many up-and-comers ready to prove society wrong about today’s youth. This is what I really enjoy watching. I take a lot of pride seeing them succeed and proving the nay-sayers wrong.”

CPD Chief Dave Cincoski concurs. “In recognition of peace officers memorial week, Mr. Anderson’s recognition of the Chesterton Police Department by running a mile for each officer is certainly commendable and greatly appreciated,” he said.

Anderson has nothing but praise for his mentor Hawkins--"He’s a hard worker and an excellent teacher, he’s funny, he’s got a lot of great stories"--but in one significant way Anderson has a different career path in mind: he hears the call of the open road, has no desire for a detective’s shield, wants to burn up the blacktop on patrol. That’s why he’s hoping one day to wear the ISP trooper’s campaign hat. “Going around the state, seeing the countryside and the different towns, meeting people at the rest stops and plazas, that would be the best,” Anderson said.

“I just want to be a public servant like Chesterton’s police officers,” Anderson added. “I want to be as dedicated and selfless as they are.”

The CPD’s officers, for their part, are giving Anderson props too. At least twice last week an officer in a squad car escorted him around the Dogwood Park soccer fields as he put in his laps.

What do Anderson’s parents, Paul and Barbara, think about his marathon? “They think it’s awesome,” he said. “They love it.”



Posted 5/18/2020




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