By Bob Vosseller
The Asbury Park Press
LACEY, N.J. — Deputy Mayor Dave Most will be fleeing from police on Aug. 25.
That isn't to say he'll be eluding the law, but he does want to beat their speed when he competes against members of the department during the annual Municipal Drug and Alcohol Alliance 5K Run, to take place in Gille Park.
Most issued a challenge to the police department that if he is unable to beat five members of the department's team, he'll wax a patrol car during the autumn Apple Festival. Most first issued the friendly challenge during the July 26 Township Committee meeting.
"I issued a public challenge to the police department, who graciously accepted," he said. "If I don't win I'll be waxing the police car of their choice."
He thanked Lt. James Veltri, Sgt. Michael DiBella, Police Chief William Nally and PBA President John Cernak, all of whom are liaisons to the Municipal Alliance.
On Tuesday morning, Most, DiBella, Veltri and Municipal Alliance Chairwoman Heather Scanlon had the chance to discuss the upcoming race and the challenge at police headquarters.
This is the township's fourth run and the second to include a short run for children, Most said.
"The regular run will begin at 8:30 a.m. while the one-mile kiddie dash and walk will begin at 8 a.m.," he said. "All the money we collect from the event will go to our programs to combat drug and alcohol abuse and will also be used to fund our scholarship program."
Most said he hopes the challenge will add a little extra fun and excitement to the race and also draw attention for the need for additional sponsors and runners. The deputy mayor serves as the liaison between the governing body and the alliance and has been involved in many of the committee's programs and events.
"The police are always helping the community and have always supported the alliance with their projects," Most said.
"We'll have between five and 15 participants from the police department," DiBella said.
He noted that some of them will be members of the Policemen's Benevolent Association while others will be members of the Superior Officers Association.
"I think the chief has some of his officers seeing just how well I am training for this," Most said with a grin. "I've been preparing for this run every day in Bamber Lake."
"What do we do if we lose?" DiBella asked Most. DiBella wasn't sure if he'd be among the runners representing the police department.
"Maybe the chief can take me to work one day. We'll think of something," Most replied.
Those interested in being a sponsor of the event or taking part in the run can call (609) 971-3327.
Drug and Alcohol Alliance Coordinator Heather Scanlon said the run has 30 sponsors so far.
"The PBA is one of our top sponsors," Scanlon said. "We're hoping to interest more runners. The first place runner will receive a $100 cash award."
She said that the alliance has 34 members and that she works closely with Mark Principato, who serves as chairman of the group.
"Without all our dedicated volunteers we could not accomplish what we do and put on these programs," she said.
Scanlon said the rest of the summer will be busy for the group. Along with the run, the group will be present at Lacey Day on Aug. 18 and will be operating an information booth at the Lacey Township Middle School seventh-grade orientation on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23.
Copyright 2007 The Asbury Park Press
N.J. deputy mayor challenges officers to 5K race