The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Louisiana — held May 18-22 this year — involved more than 2,000 law enforcement personnel from nearly 200 agencies across Louisiana.
Representatives from State Police, sheriffs’ offices, police departments, constables’ offices, correctional facilities, district attorneys’ offices, military branches, universities/campus police, probation and parole, and marshals’ offices took part.
Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement officials carry the Flame of Hope across the state, culminating in the final leg of the torch run and the lighting of the cauldron to officially open the Summer Games in Hammond.
On May 22, Baker and Zachary police personnel participated by running/walking a 5K race from the State Capitol building in Baton Rouge, Zachary Police Chief David McDavid said.
The torch run unites officers annually for two common goals: to spread awareness of the capabilities of people with intellectual disabilities and to generate funds ensuring that the year-round sports training programs of Special Olympics are available to all children and adults with mental disabilities at no cost to the athletes or their families, the Louisiana Special Olympics website said.
Several runs and relays are coordinated, corporate sponsorships collected, T-shirts sold and unique fundraisers held as part of the annual event, McDavid said.