Police Chief Takes Plunge For Special Olympics

SPOKANE — Saturday marked the second annual polar bear plunge benefiting the Special Olympics. Law enforcement officials, including Spokane Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, jumped into the icy waters of Medical Lake to raise money for charity.

Chief Kirkpatrick was ready to go the minute they arrived at the shores of the lake.

“It’s those athletes right there,” she said, pointing at some Special Olympians. “They’re my champions!”

For the second year in a row law enforcement came out to support a major Special Olympics fundraiser, the Polar Bear Plunge. Chief Kirkpatrick had no reservations, whether it was showing off her new bathing suit or jumping into the frigid waters simply because of who it benefits.

Linda Safford with Special Olympics Washington made it clear how much events like these truly benefit the Special Olympics.

“Special Olympics athletes participate at absolutely no cost to them,” Safford said. “So their transportation, their equipment, their housing when they compete out of town, are all paid for by events like this.”

Last year this event raised $7,000 and this year $20,000 dollars has been raised thanks to people like Jayln Musser.

“I saw this sign and I asked my mom, what’s the polar plunge? She said, people jump in the lake and help the Special Olympics,” Musser said. “I said, could I do it?”

Some Special Olympics Athletes, like James Stinson, braved the cold to witness the plunge.

“We actually think it’s really exciting. I mean it’s an honor for us to be here and to watch the chief jump in,” Stinson said.

After making the plunge Chief Kirkpatrick was quite excited to reach dry land.

“That’s a little cold! Ok! A little cold! No close ups,” she said.