By Patrick BuffettApril 14, 2016
FORT LEE, Va. (April 14, 2016) -- Continuing a fallen officer's campaign against drunk driving, a group representing the Fort Lee law enforcement community will don their Team Napper T-shirts and head to Dorey Park in Henrico Saturday to participate in the Walk Like MADD 5K.
This is the fifth year for the community outreach effort started by Department of the Army Civilian Police Lead Sgt. Ron Napper, a retired Marine gunnery sergeant who was a resident of Prince George County when he died from an illness in March 2012.
"Ron was a huge advocate of drunk driving awareness and prevention," noted fellow officer Capt. Brian Bishop who heads up Provost Marshal Office Operations here. "On several occasions, he was recognized for his success with DUI enforcement and he had received one of the annual awards from (the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization).
"He was organizing a PMO team for the 2nd annual MADD walk (in April 2012) when he passed away," Bishop said. "Officer Kevin Gareau, who worked in his section, refused to let his efforts go to waste, so he picked up the torch and ran with it. Since then, Team Napper has kept Ron's memory alive while continuing to support a cause he believed in with all his heart. Without a doubt, it has become a source of pride for this department."
The team is welcoming community members to join them at the event that starts at 9 a.m. The "show of solidarity," Bishop said, sends a clear message that drinking and driving will not be tolerated by law-abiding Americans.
"DUI education and awareness is one of the priority efforts of the Fort Lee PMO," he noted. "Participation in the annual walk is one of the many avenues we use to show our resolve in winning this fight against drunk driving. It's a community issue. The only way to win the battle is to join hands and work together with our off-post partners in law enforcement and advocacy groups."
Monetary pledges in the name of Team Napper also are being accepted on the event's website. For more information, visit www.walklikemadd.org and click on the "view all events" button on the bottom left of the page. Then, click on the Dorey Park event to open its associated page. The registration area gives users the option to sign up as a runner, walker or "virtual" participant who is taking part individually or as a member of a team.
Anyone with questions about PMO's plans for the event can contact Bishop at (804) 734-6478.