Hundreds of police, fire, EMTs plunge into Chesapeake Bay

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — It’s called the Police Plunge and on Friday, 400 police, firefighters and security officers stripped down and ran into the icy Chesapeake Bay to raise money for Special Olympics.

“Law enforcement adopted Special Olympics as a charity nationwide and that seems to have extended into military and some of the firefighters and EMTs as well, says Jason Schriml with Special Olympics.

To participate, each person had to raise $75 for the organization, which helps afford opportunities, education and awareness for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Montgomery County Police Officer Barbara Natoli took the challenge up a notch by jumping in every hour for 24-hours. She followed some of her plunges with a dive into a nearby snowbank.

“I am over $13,000 now. I’m still trying to bring in money. I just did a snow angel, so I’m hoping more people will give me some money,” Natoli says.

Inspired by a Special Olympics athlete, Adam Hayes, this is Natoli’s 18th plunge and her third year doing the super plunge.

“It started as a dare. Because it was something crazy and fun to do. Then I met an athlete and fell in love…I’ve been here ever since,” she says.

Natoli works with Special Olympics Maryland year-round and is one of 38 super plungers who braved the 36 degree water of the Chesapeake Bay for 24 hours Friday.