Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) members donned their running gear and took on a rapid pace as they ran to raise money for Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC).  This morning at the Hall of Justice Assistant Sheriff Eddie Rivero, Assistant Chief Michel Moore of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), and Chief John Neu, Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office – Chief of the Bureau of Investigation, announced LASD’s participation in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics.  There was also a special appearance from Special Olympics Athletes: Caley Versfelt and Jordan Wall who shared their experiences as Special Olympics Athletes.

As part of today’s relay event, LAPD runners delivered the Flame of Hope™ torch to Assistant Chief Moore who passed the torch to Assistant Sheriff Rivero who officially handed the torch to Sheriff’s Department runners as part of the day’s ceremony. Department members ran with the torch on a leg of the relay to 7th Street and Central Avenue, Los Angeles, where the torch was handed back to runners from the LAPD to continue its journey through multiple law enforcement jurisdictions.

The Flame of Hope™ torch began its week-long journey on Monday, June 5th and will continue its journey throughout Southern California until it arrives at its final destination on the campus of California State University at Long Beach (CSULB).

Approximately 200 deputies from multiple LASD stations and divisions will participate in the relay as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics.  This movement was initiated in 1986 by Southern California law enforcement personnel to raise funds for, and awareness of, the Special Olympics athletes in this region.  Since then, they have worked together annually to support this special program by carrying the Flame of Hope™ torch on a journey to the Special Olympics Summer Games Opening Ceremonies.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® has since become much more than an annual run for Special Olympics Summer Games; for the 3,500 officers in Southern California involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, it represents honor, respect and pride.  It has grown to become a worldwide community of law enforcement officers rallying to support Special Olympics through a series of fundraising events, including torch runs.
Collectively, nearly 150 Southern California communities will run a total of 500 miles on local streets and highways.  Deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will join hundreds of other participating law enforcement personnel from across the state and converge Saturday, June 10th at the Summer Games Opening Ceremonies held on the campus of California State University at Long Beach.  Together, the deputies and officers will welcome the athlete delegations.

At the end of the journey for the Flame of Hope™, one athlete and one law enforcement officer will ignite the cauldron to kick off the Opening Ceremonies.

Throughout the weekend, 2,000 athletes will participate in six sports.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run in Southern California is one of the leading programs in the world, having raised $1.3 million in 2016.  For more information, click:   https://www.sosc.org/letr 

For further information about Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department participation, please contact Sheriff’s Information Bureau at 213-229-1700.
Prepared by:
Deputy Don Walker
Sergeant Robert Boese, III
Deputy Lillian Peck
Sheriff’s Information Bureau
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
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