Running for a cause – new YUPD Runners Club

October 16, 2019

Yale Police Officers Cody McGinnis and Nicholas Cotto like to run and fundraise for local causes. They recently combined those two passions creating the new Yale University Police Department (YUPD) Runners Club–taking what was once an informal group to the next level.

Club members participate in local races or events that benefit various charities and by doing this raising awareness of those causes. Some of these include, breast cancer awareness, suicide prevention, and food drives. In addition, they also fundraise recently collecting $1000 by selling pink t-shirts for breast cancer awareness month. These funds will be donated to the Smilow Cancer Hospital here in New Haven.

The club is also organizing casual weekly runs with students, staff, and faculty. One in the works would follow the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail, possibly a morning or lunch hour run. They also plan to invite the Yale Community to future charity running events. Currently, the club consists of seven members including: Officers Cotto, McGinnis, Ariel Melendez, Anthony Maresca, Jordan Teague, Michael D’urso Sergeant Joshua Pasay, and Lieutenant Jay Jones. Anyone from Yale Public Safety can join the club—runners or those who want to start running.

“It’s a fun way to promote health and wellness within our own PD. Cody started it initially. It was informal when I joined, and together we are making it more official with members, a mission, and plan for future runs, events and fundraising,” said Officer Cotto.

Last month, club members came in first overall in the first responder category during the Believe 208 – Run for the Brave and Finest a 5K that was held in East Hartford. This event raises awareness for depression and suicide in first responders.

For more information on the YUPD Runners Club, please contact Officer Cody McGinnis at

Between now and December, the club plans to participate in the CT Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Run, Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Branford, and Christopher Martin’s Race for Children in New Haven.