Chilmark police chief scales heights for good cause

In this file photo, Chilmark Police chief Brian Cioffi went over the edge of a Boston hotel in 2011 to raise money for the Special Olympics. — Photo courtesy of JAN SEEGER/Eagle-Tribune

Chilmark police Chief Brian Cioffi put his rappelling skills to good use Saturday. Mr. Cioffi roped down 24 floors from the rooftop of Boston’s Hyatt Regency as part of “Over the Edge,” a fundraiser for the Special Olympics.

Mr. Cioffi was one of 100 volunteers from across Massachusetts who agreed to take part in the event. And until Saturday when another participant, a State Trooper, received a pledge of $2,500, Mr. Cioffi led the fundraising pack. As of Monday, Mr. Cioffi had raised $8,275.

“I am very grateful to the more than 60 people who helped me get close to my goal,” Mr. Cioffi said. “Sliding 24 stories down a rope on a 90-degree day is no day at Lucy Vincent Beach but it was for a very good cause and I have three more weeks to hit my goal of $10,000.”

Mr. Cioffi said he decided to participate after Special Olympics organizers appealed to police chiefs across Massachusetts. “I’d never climbed down a building and thought it would be fun,” Mr. Cioffi, a rock climber and arborist, said.

Special Olympics Massachusetts provides year-round sports training and competition programs for over 12,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities for free, according to a press release. Sponsors said sports provides “the platform from which athletes gain self-esteem and confidence to achieve their everyday objectives.”

For more information on “Over the Edge” go to