THE Port of Tilbury Police’s chief officer has travelled to New York to organise a half marathon in Central Park, featuring almost 100 police officers from Essex and the south east in support of a children’s cancer charity.
CPO James Poulain (second from right in the picture) travelled to New York a fortnight ago alongside Metropolitan Police Constable Mark Edwards MBE, founder of JACK (Joining Against Cancer in Kids), in order to organise the charity’s annual fundraising events.
The Jack’s PACK team travel each year to New York to run the Half Marathon in Central Park and compete in the JetBlue Plane Pull, which sees members of British police forces competing against members of the NYPD to see who can pull a Boeing 747 across a finishing line the fastest.
CPO Poulain said: “It’s a brilliant charity to be involved with, everybody works so hard to raise as much money as possible and the support has been amazing.
“Though this was just a planning trip, it was my first time seeing all the work that goes into fundraising first-hand, and there is a lot to be excited about for the main event in May.
“Because everybody who goes is a police officer, there is a real sense of fun and camaraderie, and a lot of laughter throughout the trip, as well as raising a lot of money for a really important cause.”
The events take place in New York in memory of Jack Brown, whose story of a fight with child cancer Neuroblastoma inspired PC Edwards to found the charity in order to research a cure and to support families who are impacted by the disease.
Jack was treated at the Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Centre in New York, a specialist facility which JACK still make donations towards.
PC Edwards, who organises both the New York Run and the JetBlue plane pull, said: “We travel and do both of our fundraising events in uniform, so we end up attracting quite a lot of attention.
“We raise between £50,000 and £60,000 every year, so we are proud to be recognisable in that way and it raises some more awareness of the cause.
“This all sprung from just thinking of what I could do to help, and now it has grown into this brilliant event in partnership with some brilliant organisations. It’s something many of us really look forward to every year, and it feels great to be giving back to some of the hospitals in New York, as well as closer to home, that treated Jack and help other children and their families.”
The 95 police officers from Essex Police, The Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, Surrey Police, and The Ministry of Defence Police will depart from the Metropolitan Police Chigwell Sports Club at 9am on Thursday 17 May.
To donate to JACK, visit www.j-a-c-k.org.