14th Annual Lt. Clesse Memorial 5K Run/Walk set

Runners making tracks at last year’s Lieutenant Thomas Clesse Memorial 5K Run/Walk on Pelham Parkway.
File Photo

Community and law enforcement members will be honoring the memories of 9/11 victims and a late 49th Precinct lieutenant this Saturday.

The 49th Precinct’s 14th annual Lieutenant Thomas Clesse 5K Run/Walk Commemorating 9/11 will make tracks this Saturday, September 12 at 10 a.m. from Eastchester Road to White Plains Road and back on Pelham Parkway with all proceeds to be donated to the Widows and Orphans of Fallen Police Officers Fund.

This annual event honors the memories of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as well as the late Lieutenant Clesse who served and protected the community while working at the 49th Precinct for over 35 years before passing away from cancer in 2000.

This yearly event was created in 2001 to honor both victims of the terrorist attacks and of the late Lieutenant Clesse who was considered by many in the precinct to be an exceptional example of a dedicated police officer willing to give his time to help others.

Sponsored by the 49th Precinct’s Captain Keith Walton, 49th Precinct Community Council president Joseph Thompson and Simone Development at Hutchinson Metro Center president Joseph Kelleher, the 5K race includes under 50/over 50 male and female categories, trophies awarded to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, a free T-shirt as well as a free lunch provided at Gleason’s Cafe located at 2040 Eastchester Road after the race for all runners and walkers.

Tickets for the 5K run/walk cost $20 for all participants over age 13 and registration will take place this Saturday at 9 a.m. in front of the precinct’s 2121 Eastchester Road location.

Those who wish to pay the entry fee using a check are asked to make them out to ‘49th Precinct Club’.

As a safety precaution, the roads will be closed to everyone excluding the event’s runners and walkers.

Thompson said a 5K run for children under age 13 is planned for Saturday’s event.

Children under 13-years old involved in the 5K Run/Walk will receive medals for their participation and a dinner for two raffle drawing for Frankie and Johnnie’s Pine Restaurant will be held during this event.

“We were all taken by surprise on 9/11 and this event helps people stay alert and remember the sacrifices these people made to save others that day,” explained Thompson. “This race pays tribute to real heroes who died to save others during this tragedy and to honor those who ultimately gave their own lives so others may live.”

“We’ve sponsored this yearly event for the past few years and the Hutchinson Metro Center has a very strong, ongoing relationship with the 49th Precinct which provides great policing for the entire community,” said Kelleher. “We feel it’s a very worthy cause to support both 9/11 victims and our local law enforcement.”

Retired 49th Club president Mickey Boyle worked alongside the late lieutenant who served as a community policing supervisor.

“He was a very selfless guy and we used to call him a ‘real cop’s cop’ because of how exceptional he was,” said Boyle. “Clesse was all about the community and naming this race after him is a well deserved honor for him. He was a great boss and exceptional leader and we all miss him very much.”

Betsy Aleman worked at the 49th Precinct’s Community Affairs and was Lieutenant Clesse’s partner.

“He started his career as a cop walking the beat on the streets of Fort Apache before moving to the 32nd Precinct and eventually the 49th Precinct,” said Aleman. “He never forgot where he was from and loved working in the Bronx. He was my confidant and best friend and when I met his family, I felt like I was a part of it, too.”

For more information, contact the 49th Precinct Community Affairs Office at either (718) 918-2025 or (718) 918-2032.

Lieutenant Clesse (far right) with Sgt. Roger Alequin (l), Officer Charlie Ortiz, Officer Mickey Boyle, Officer Ralph Pena, Officer Mary Anne Dolphin, Officer Dean Manfredonia and Officer Patrick Durkin taken on July 1992 at the 49th Precinct’s Training Room.
Photo courtesy of Mickey Boyle

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