The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas, Police Chief Richard LaMunyon created the event to help law enforcement be active in the community and support Special Olympics Kansas. In 1983, Chief LaMunyon presented the program to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) which endorsed the event and became the “Founding Law Enforcement Organization.”
Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of local competitions. They also carry it into Special Olympics State, Provincial, National, Regional and World Games. There are over 97,000 law enforcement members that carry the “Flame of Hope” annually. The flame symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe.
Torch Run has grown over the years and now includes many fundraising platforms. These platforms include: Plane Pulls, Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cops, and more. Since the beginning, LETR has raised over $600 million for Special Olympics programs. As retired Chief Richard LaMunyon once said, “What started in 1981…as a flicker of hope for Special Olympics has now become a roaring flame of stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.” LETR is changing the future for people with intellectual disabilities. Through the LETR and Special Olympics partnership we are lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion.
Members of the Bainbridge Island Police Department participate in the LETR event every year. This year's event is scheduled for Thursday, June 1. Details about how to support our runners and the Special Olympics are forthcoming.
Enjoy the photos below of Bainbridge Island officers at the 2016 event!