Beyond the Badge run draws 1,000 to honor public servants

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – About 1,000 people gathered at Crown Hill Cemetery on Sunday morning for the 14th annual Beyond the Badge 5K Run and Walk.

The event was organized in 2001 by Jerry Baker after his son, Marion County Deputy Jason Baker, was shot and killed during a chase while he was on duty. Jason Baker was 24 years old at the time, one week away from his 25th birthday.

Jerry Baker described the last 14 years as “a roller coaster.”

“Anybody who’s suffered an unexpected tragic loss, regardless of the circumstances, knows you never get over it,” Baker said. “You get past it. Jason was true to that oath of office. He was true to that honor. He was true to that warrior spirit up until the very end, never losing his shield that he kept to protect the community.”

Among the participants were many police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and other public servants.

Baker said the annual run and walk was not to only remember his son, but to also remember all of the public servants who put their lives on the line every day.

“People don’t realize that police officers and firefighters work weekends; they work evenings; they work overnight; they miss soccer games; they miss PTO meetings; they miss a lot of family time because they’re out there doing this job,” Baker said. “It’s important to remember that they’re running towards the danger when everyone else is running away from it.”

Click here for more information about fallen deputy Jason Baker and about the annual Beyond the Badge 5K Run and Walk.

The next Beyond the Badge 5K Run and Walk is scheduled for Sept. 18, 2016. All of the money raised from the event goes toward the Jason M. Baker Public Safety Scholarship Fund, which helps students pursuing a career in public safety.