Members of the Urbana Police Division participated in the The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Ohio on Tuesday.
The torch is making its way through Ohio and will end at the Summer Games in Columbus on Friday.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when Wichita, Kan., Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw a need to raise awareness of and funds for Special Olympics. He conceived the idea of the Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement with the community and Special Olympics.
After three successful runs in Kansas, LaMunyon presented the idea to the International Association of Police Chiefs. With the IACP’s endorsement, the idea was launched nationally and is now an international event. Today’s torch is run in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, all provinces of Canada and over 46 countries, and is now run on every continent of the planet.
This series of relay runs has become the largest grass roots fund-raising program benefiting Special Olympics in the world. In 2021, law enforcement officers through the Law Enforcement Torch Run raised over $415 million for Special Olympics athletes and programs worldwide.
In Ohio, Torch Run participants run, walk and cycle one of five planned routes covering the state and leading to the opening ceremonies of the Ohio Special Olympics Summer Games. The officers pass the torch to a relay of Special Olympics athletes who light the cauldron to signify the official start of the Games.