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Roanoke’s Drumstick DASH changes route because police are stretched thin

Roanoke City's Drumstick DASH 2019
Roanoke City's Drumstick DASH 2019(WDBJ7)
Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 3:21 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Organizers of this year’s Atlantic Union Bank Drumstick DASH say the race route will be different than years past because they won’t have enough police officers along the race route.

According to an update on the event website, the race, held Thanksgiving Day, has moved to Rivers Edge Park, moving the starting line to Wiley Drive.

Race organizers wrote in an update that they have been having conversations with the City’s Traffic and Engineering team, Roanoke Police Chief Sam Roman, the Roanoke Sheriff’s Office and chiefs of police from surrounding jurisdictions.

The race course they were planning for would require a minimum of 13 police officers for each traffic light and major intersection. According to race leaders, the ideal total is closer to between 15 and 18.

“With the current staffing crisis with all Police Departments,” wrote organizers on the website, “the force is stretched so thin that they are unable to provide the level of officers needed to provide safety for the Downtown course.”

That said, race officials created an alternative course around Rivers Edge Park and the Greenway.

“Our team is working diligently to set up this course with a level of excitement and fun that the Atlantic Union Drumstick Dash is known for,” they wrote.

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