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Cook County Law Enforcement seeks runners, walkers for Torch Run

The Special Olympic Torch, courtesy of Special Olympics MN
The Special Olympic Torch, courtesy of Special Olympics MN

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics began in 1981 in Wichita, Kansas when Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for, and increase awareness of, Special Olympics. The idea for the Torch Run was to provide local law enforcement officers with an opportunity to volunteer with Special Olympics in the communities where the officers lived and worked.

Now, Special Olympics Minnesota reports that law enforcement from all 50 United States, 10 Canadian provinces and territories and 35 nations carry the Flame of Hope in honor of Special Olympics athletes in their area and around the world. The Flame of Hope symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity and the inclusion of all people around the world.

This international program has raised over $600 million to support Special Olympics programs. More than 97,000 law enforcement personnel from thousands of agencies around the world have been Guardians of the Flame and carried the Flame of Hope.

This year, for the first time, the Cook County Sheriff's Office is taking part, along with other law enforcement officers from Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They would love to have any members of the public also join in the Torch Run. 

Rhonda Silence learns more about the June 19-20 event in this interview.