In 2007, I was honored to be asked to attend the International Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference held in Oklahoma City. While there I attended several workshops one of which was about doing a plunge with the hopes of raising money and awareness for the organization.
Upon returning back to RI a group of us formed a committee to get the RI Law Enforcement Torch Run Plunge off the ground. The plunge was well accepted and many people from various organizations joined in to help raise money. Each year for the past 9 years, I did one plunge with my German Shepherd Maxwell; he loved the water even as cold as it was.
This year I was invited to participate in the SUPER PLUNGE. If you have never heard of a Super Plunge let me tell you a little bit about my experience. Having never done the required 24 plunges; which entailed staying up all night and diving into the ocean every hour for 24 hours straight, I did not know what to expect. The night before I could not sleep I kept hearing how cold the outside temperature was going to be which made me feel apprehensive.
However, the 10 member team plus 4 special guests from New England Special Olympics programs took our first dive and continued from there, I was amazed at how caring and giving all of the team members were, they gave me advice, encouragement and accolades after each dive. One of the team members was Detective Mark Brasil, URI PD and it was his first plunge as well. Mark and I go back many years so I think we helped each other get through it.
After all was said and done we both felt exhilarated on what we were able to accomplish in 24 hours. And more importantly the friendships that were formed and a behind the scenes look at how dedicated and caring that all of our helpers were. Family, Friends, Significant others, community members and athletes all came and helped us get through it bringing food, hot drinks, encouragement and love. This experience was like nothing I have ever known, so thanks to all of you who made my experience a very special one.
Sgt. Erica G Vieira
URI Police Department