Are you faster than a cop?

Find out at ROPD Challenge day

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published May 6, 2015

 Royal Oak Police Lt. Bob Reilly, left, and Sgt. Chris Annetta train for the Are You Faster Than a Cop? event, which will take place at 9 a.m. May 9. Attendees are invited to see if they can meet the ROPD physical fitness standards. Men ages 20-34 should be able to do 70 push-ups, 80 sit-ups and run 1.5 miles in 10 minutes to meet the highest level of fitness.

Royal Oak Police Lt. Bob Reilly, left, and Sgt. Chris Annetta train for the Are You Faster Than a Cop? event, which will take place at 9 a.m. May 9. Attendees are invited to see if they can meet the ROPD physical fitness standards. Men ages 20-34 should be able to do 70 push-ups, 80 sit-ups and run 1.5 miles in 10 minutes to meet the highest level of fitness.

Photo provided by Judy Davids

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ROYAL OAK — Do you think you could beat a police officer in a foot race? Or take on one of them in a push-up contest?

Those interested in finding out will have their chances at 9 a.m. May 9 at the Royal Oak High School track and field, 1500 Lexington Blvd., for the debut of Are You Faster Than a Cop?

At the Royal Oak Police Department Challenge, attendees may take the ROPD physical test, run 1.5 miles with Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue, meet Ryker the police department K-9, sit in a real patrol car, have their mugshots taken and test drive a Ford Mustang.

“We are really looking forward to this event,” O’Donohue said. “My officers really enjoy interacting with our residents in nontraditional law enforcement settings. This will be a fun morning and supports a great cause.”

The entry fee is $10 for adults and $5 for children. A percentage of the money collected will go to the ROPD Fund, which is used to pay for officer needs that are not included in the department’s current budget. In the past, money has been used to purchase gym equipment and other items needed for officer health and well-being.

Community Engagement Specialist Judy Davids said that most of the money collected at the happening will go toward event costs and swag.

Everyone who participates will receive a certificate, T-shirt and a chance to win a 2014 Rose Bowl football autographed by MSU head coach Mark Dantonio.

“Come and get an “I support Royal Oak police” shirt and have fun, meet Ryker, and if you don’t want to run, you absolutely don’t have to run to be a part of this,” Davids said. “But it is a good opportunity to interact with our officers one-on-one.”

Davids said that this is the first time the department is hosting this type of event. and it was the brainchild of Mel Spencley, co-creator of the Royal Oak Challenge for Kids, known as “ROCK.”

“They came to the city, and they asked if we could participate in their challenge,” Davids said. “We talked to Chief O’Donohue and we really felt to combine with public safety would be pretty cool.”

The ROCK challenge is a nonprofit organization created to help children get physically fit. The challenge began April 1 and will conclude June 30.

The group achieves its goal by hosting fun, physical activities throughout the three-month period to help participants lose 10 pounds or gain 10 pounds of muscle. All proceeds from the low-cost activities hosted by ROCK go toward feeding hungry children in the area.

“What we’re doing is simply this: By everybody who gets on the challenge — if they don’t want to lose 10 pounds or gain 10 pounds of muscle — by doing that they will actually give 90 meals back to a child with either Forgotten Harvest, or we just partnered up nationally with the Boys & Girls Club,” Spencley said.

ROCK partners with Royal Oak businesses, community organizations and departments.

“I’m super excited about partnering up with the Police Department,” Spencley said.

The Rock challenge will be providing three-on-three bubble soccer for attendees of the Are You Faster Than a Cop? event.

“We’re going to be pounding the pavement to get as many people there as possible for Are You Faster Than a Cop?” Spencley said. “I think it is going to be a lot of fun.”

Spencley said she hopes many people will attend the event to meet their police officers, get healthy and help give 90 meals to children.

“Everybody can afford to lose 10 pounds,” Spencley said. “I’m telling you, by 2020, we’re going to be at 75 percent obese in Michigan, so everybody can afford to lose 10 pounds or gain 10 pounds of muscle, and by doing so, we’re helping a child.”

For more information, visit ropdchallenge.com or ROCK4kids.org.

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