Drumstick DASH organizers address race safety after rerouting and police shortage

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – In just an hour, thousands of people will be moving their feet for others to eat during the Atlantic Union Bank Drumstick DASH in Roanoke. It comes after a late change prompted organizers to scramble to host the biggest fundraiser of the year for Roanoke’s rescue mission.

The Roanoke Police Department and neighboring law enforcement agencies did not have enough officers on hand to provide DASH with the security needed to protect the road through downtown Roanoke.

As a result, the rescue mission moved the route from downtown Roanoke to the greenways around River’s Edge Park, with the start line at Wiley Drive.

This rerouting reduces the number of agents needed from more than a dozen to just four.

WFXR News’s D’mon Reynolds has spoken to the Rescue Mission about the new security measures for Drumstick DASH and they are confident the new location is safe enough for the number of cops they have in place.

According to Kevin Berry, communications manager for the Roanoke Rescue Mission, he is confident that despite the last minute changes, the four officers and dozens of volunteers will be able to keep the event running smoothly for them. 6000 participants.

“We made inquiries with the city, with the police,” Berry said. “We worked with our community partners to make sure this event would be as safe as possible.”

Even with the limited number of officers in place, Berry says other people will help with DASH, such as route marshals.

“The marshals are really there to make sure people stay on the course, but also to make sure people don’t come on the course,” said Berry. “They’ll be there if a biker or rider wants to come on the green lane to politely remind them” hey, DASH is on the green lane today. “

During this time, the police officers present at the race will be on duty in the streets.

According to former law enforcement officer Dr Tod Burke, it’s not so much about the number of officers as it is their strategic placement.

“Research has shown that it’s not the number of officers you have,” Burke said. “That’s what you do with the officers you have. “

Dr Burke says people should know their concerns have been addressed before the decision is made to relocate the racetrack.

“What the organizers have done is move the event to a location that will allow for greater safety and security,” said Burke.

The Drumstick DASH has been a long-standing Roanoke holiday tradition that raises funds for the Rescue Mission program to feed the hungry throughout the year. In other words, community members are encouraged to move their feet so that others can eat.

If you want to walk or run in the DASH, registrations are still open for the DASH in person on Thanksgiving Day, as well as the Virtual DASH, which runs until Tuesday, November 30. You can also donate to Roanoke’s Rescue Mission by clicking here.

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