A special run this weekend will honor a fallen officer and serve as a celebration to those who rush to the aid of those in danger.

Hartland-native and West Bloomfield Police Sergeant Patrick O’Rourke was shot and killed in the line of duty 6 years ago while attempting to assist a suicidal suspect. Tomorrow morning, at Hartland High School, a 5.5k Run will be held in remembrance of him and in recognition of First Responders everywhere.

O’Rourke’s wife of 14 years, Amy, recognized First Responders as exceedingly brave in that they are willing to run into dangerous situations when most are running away. She said that they see horrible things, experience horrible things, and have to keep doing their job. This run, for her, is a way to take a little time and give them something happy to do.

The run begins at 8:55am and takes participants on a route that passes by Little League fields O’Rourke played on as a child and a stretch of Old-23 that has since been renamed for him. The first 5k is timed with awards given to top finishers of several age groups. Once runners pass the 5k mark, however, they are encouraged to keep running another half-kilometer in what will be known as “Rudy’s Home Stretch.” Rudy was O’Rourke’s undercover name, and the total 5.5k distance mirrors his badge number, 55.

This event is wheelchair, stroller, and dog friendly. Musicians will be lined up along the route to entertain participants, as well. Early registration ends today and costs $25 without an event shirt, or $35 with. Day-of registration prices are $10 higher. All profits made from the run will be split between community outreach groups that O’Rourke was vested in. A free Family Hero 1/4 Mile Fun Run will take place following the awards ceremony.

Register through the link below. (Photo - Amy O'Rourke) (MK)