49th Precinct hosts 18th annual Clesse 5K on Pelham Parkway

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A 5K run was held on Pelham Parkway Saturday, dedicated to all the lives lost on Sept. 11.

The Lieutenant Thomas Clesse 5K Memorial Run is dedicated to a lieutenant whose family says would have rushed to the World Trade Center to help on Sept. 11, but he was retired and sick with cancer at the time.

Lt. Thomas Clesse served as a lieutenant at the 49th Precinct, about half a block away from where the event was hosted. The commanding officer presently serving at precinct says Lt. Clesse paved the way for improved relations between the NYPD and the community.

“He really was one of the pioneers in bringing the police department closer to the community and the community closer to the police department,” says Capt. Andrew Natiw. 

Cleese died from cancer in 2002 at the age of 58. His family says the proceeds of the annual run go to the PBA’s Widows and Children’s Fund. His grandchildren, some of whom never met him, are helping his legacy live on with the event.

“Lt. Clesse serves as an example for all of us,” says Capt. Natiw. “Every day we get up, come to work, we don’t know what it has in store for us. It could be our last day, we may not go home to our loved ones, but it’s people like him that make it easy to do our job.”

This is the 18th year the memorial run was held.

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