02/23/2013 04:11 EST | Updated 04/25/2013 05:12 EDT

Montrealers polar bear dip for Special Olympics Québec

About 200 people dunked themselves in ice-cold water this afternoon to help raise funds for Special Olympics Québec.

About 30 police officers, including chief of Montreal police Marc Parent, braved the freezing waters of the Saint-Lawrence River at the Pointe-Claire marina, west of Montreal.

Teams of divers, paramedics and volunteers were in place to assist the daring participants of this year's "polar bear dip."

More than $60,000 will be collected to help fund programs run by Special Olympics Quebec.

Sgt. Marc Raté of Pointe-Claire police said he decided to take part in the event to give back to his community.

"I like being around the coaches and everyone that's involved in the cause. As police officers, sometimes we don't always deal with the best of society, so dealing with these people – the cream of the crop of this society – is a lot of fun," he said.

The organization has been offering coaching and development to Quebec athletes living with disabilities for the last 30 years.

The special training programs were put in place to help the athletes develop more autonomy and help with their social integration.