Milford police, community to take icy plunge for Bristol

Milford Police Department hosts Milford Plunges for BRRISTOL, a fundraising event for Fund the First. Pictured from the left are Officer Brianna MacDonald and Marilisa Anania, public information officer.

Milford Police Department hosts Milford Plunges for BRRISTOL, a fundraising event for Fund the First. Pictured from the left are Officer Brianna MacDonald and Marilisa Anania, public information officer.

Saul Flores/Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — City police won't be left out in the cold when it comes to supporting their fellow officers from Bristol. The department is inviting the community to participate in an event sort of like the 2014 ice bucket challenge - only less comfortable.

"We haven't done a fundraiser like this before. This was specifically thought of to support the families of the Bristol police officers," said Marilisa Anania, MPD public information officer.

MPD's fundraising event titled Milford Plunges for BRRRISTOL takes place on Dec. 3, starting at 10 a.m. at Walnut Beach and consists of plunging into the frigid Long Island Sound water.

Registration is $30 to participate or $100 to register as a VIP, which will include a gift. The goal is to raise money for the Fund the First Campaign to support the families of Bristol Police Department Lieutenant Dustin DeMonte and Sergeant Alex Hamzy, who were fatally shot in October.

"We wanted something families, groups of people, and the entire community to participate in, and we figured this might be a good event," said Anania. "It's also special to Milford because we have a beach."

Officer Brianna MacDonald agreed, saying Milford had the option of offering a fundraising challenge other departments couldn't.

"The officer's families are going through a hard time right now, especially since it's near the holidays," said MacDonald. "Which is also why we wanted to do something this time of the year."

Anania said they had gotten a good response, and their flyer has gotten much attention online.

"There are many people who have expressed interest, and we are encouraging people to register with their families for this event," she said.

Many of Milford's police officers are participating in the plunge, and Anania is trying to get some of them to jump in their uniform.

"We want to show people we are there because when we are not in uniform, many people don't know who we are," she said. 

MacDonald said there would also be some people from the fire department who would also be taking the plunge.

The department has reached out to Bristol's police department let them know about the event. Anania said they are thankful. 

The Milford community had gone through a tragedy like this when Officer Daniel Scott Wasson was shot and killed in 1987 during a routine vehicle stop, Anania said.

"People here are very receptive and understand what it's like to go through a loss like this," she said. "So we are just looking to our community to show support to Bristol that we received during that time."