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Rumson police chief enters into Polar Bear Plunge for eighth time

Scott Paterson, the Borough of Rumson Chief of Police, has no fear of plunging into an icy ocean.

In fact, he has faced and conquered this bone-chilling experience a frigid seven times in his life.

Paterson will disregard the weather–and freezing water–to participate in his eighth Special Olympics New Jersey Polar Bear Plunge.

The plunge that attracts hundreds of faithful –and brave– plungers throughout New Jersey will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 24 in Seaside Heights. These hearty souls will enter the beach at 50 Blaine Ave.

The Polar Bear Plunge is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics athletes by jumping into the frigid Atlantic waters during the month of February, according to Special Olympics New Jersey Director of Marketing and Communications Jeremy Davis.

The Polar Bear Plunge is presented by New Jersey law enforcement as part of the year-round fundraising of Law Enforcement Torch Run events to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey, according to Davis.

The Seaside Polar Bear Plunge celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, according to Davis.

“It’s basically a fundraising endeavor. Law enforcement is very heavily involved in support it and what it does it raises money for the New Jersey Special Olympics events throughout the year.  That can encompass all kinds of different things. … The event itself is the gathering of the Special Olympians and their families and all the people that raised money to take a dip in the ocean,” Paterson said.

Paterson explained his reason why he will don just swimming trunks and jump into a frigid ocean.

“I feel as a person in my position, especially being in law enforcement, that if we have an opportunity to give back and show different sides of what law enforcement officers do, I think that is extremely important,” Paterson said.

He also revealed his fondness of taking this brisk swim.

“Having been involved with other charities like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk, I am heavily involved in Ducks Unlimited for conservation. I find this one to be unbelievably rewarding. It’s not to say there aren’t other outstanding charities because there are a ton of them, I just find this one to be extra rewarding, personally. It gives me great pride and pleasure to be involved with it.”

According to Paterson, his goal is to raise as much money as he possibly can.

On the day of the event, Paterson said, “I am going to run, have a cup of coffee beforehand, run down and jump into the ocean. Afterwards, I will mingle with the other participants and other people that are involved in the Special Olympics.”


For people who also want to participate in this year’s Polar Bear Plunge, Davis said, “It’s a great way for individuals, team, organizations and businesses to get involved with supporting Special Olympics New Jersey programs for more than 25,000 athletes statewide.”

To donate towards Paterson’s fundraiser, visit www.classy.org/fundraiser/1146666 or visit the Rumson Police Department’s Facebook page.

For more information about the Polar Bear Plunge, visit www.sonj.org/events/polar-bear-plunge-seaside/.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.

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