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Members of Harford Co. Sheriff's Office to run in tactical gear to raise money for homeless pets

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Posted at 4:00 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 18:52:26-04

BEL AIR, Md. — Sgt. Kevin Phillips is treating the Bel Air Town Run 5k like he does any race; he trains by running on local trails or in his neighborhood.

This year, his training looks a little different, thanks to all the tactical gear he will now wear to run the race.

"I've trained with my [gas] mask, startled a few people doing it," he said.

Sgt. Phillips, who works with the Special Response Team at the Harford County Sheriff's Office, came up with the idea to add a fundraising component to the race and raise money for the Humane Society of Harford County (HSHC).

"I thought maybe bringing attention to the Sheriff’s Office in a positive light, while also raising awareness [about the shelter] and trying to recruit people who might be interested in law enforcement, so that was kind of the birth of this idea," he said.

His goal was to add a piece of gear for every $500 he raised, with the total goal of $2,500. If he hit his goal, he would wear all of the gear, including a gas mask, on the 5k run.

Sgt. Phillips not only hit his goal within a week of beginning the fundraiser, he exceeded the $2,500. Now he's enlisted a colleague, Deputy First Class Joshua Danmyer, to run with him and continue to raise money for the HSHC. The shelter staff say they appreciate every dollar that is donated.

"We take in anywhere from 3,000 to 3,500 animals a year," said Erin Long, the marketing coordinator for HSHC. "That helps us raise money to provide for the care and comfort of the animals, for their vaccinations, for any medicines that they need, to keep the lights on, the air conditioner on in the summer, all of those things."

The new goal is $5,500 and for every $500 raised, DFC Danmyer will add a piece of gear. He has also challenged Sgt. Phillips to run with a battering ram during the Bel Air Town Run 5k, which is on Sunday June 5.

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