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Heroes Pride Run to honor injured former police officer

POSTED June 17, 2011 8:47 p.m.

The annual Heroes Pride Run, scheduled for the next week, will be paying tribute to an injured police officer, whose father is a long-serving officer with the Turlock Police Department.

This year the run will be honoring James Vincent, a former police officer with the Antioch Police Department. Vincent was left paralyzed from a collision that happened while in pursuit of a suspect in March 2009. Vincent is the son of Turlock Police Officer Tom Vincent.

“We wanted to honor James’ sacrifice and the upbeat attitude he has maintained,” said Turlock Police Sgt. Miguel Pacheco, one of the run’s organizers.

Pacheco started the Heroes Pride Run in 2008 with cadets from the Ray Simon Criminal Justice Center. Pacheco, a trainer at the center, said it was an opportunity for the new recruits to pay homage to officers and soldiers who have died or been seriously injured in the line of duty.

The inaugural honoree was Ceres Police Department Sgt. Howie Stevenson, who was shot to death in an ambush in 2005. The following year the course was run in tribute to California Highway Patrol Officer Earl Scott, who was gunned down during a traffic stop. In 2010, the 5K was run in honor of Ripon Police Department Officer Bob Winget, who died in an all-terrain vehicle accident in 2007 and Army Spc. T.J. Gonzales of Newman, who was killed in Iraq in 2008.

In 2010, the center became a casualty to budget cuts, but Pacheco and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Jim Gordon, who supervised the academy, wanted to keep the traditional run going, which is why they’ve thrown it open to the public.

The 5K is set to begin at 10 a.m. June 25 at the Stanislaus County Fair grounds at the arch gates. The course will wind its way through the neighborhood and end back at the arch gates. There is no cost to participate. A barbecue will follow. Those interested in joining the run can sign-up at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=176603232395481

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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