Pay it forward: PGCC joins the Law Enforcement Torch Run

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Article by: Jennifer L. Colter

On June 3, 2015 members of the Prince George’s Community College Municipal Police Academy, Session 44 participated in the Prince George’s County leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Twenty six recruits accompanied by the Director Diane Salen and two adjunct instructors, Officer Tracey Burnett (Glenarden Police Department) and Adrian Curtis (Prince George’s County Office of the Sheriff) (both alumni of the municipal academy) participated in the torch run along with athletes that will be competing in the Maryland Special Olympics at Towson State University on June 5-7, 2015. Law enforcement agencies from throughout Prince George’s County as well as police recruit classes from Prince George’s County Police Department and University of Maryland College Park police academy participated in the 4 mile torch run. The torch run began with an opening ceremony at the Hyattsville Justice Center and traveling up Route 1 to the American Legion where the Flame of Hope was passed on to another set of runners continuing up Route 1. The Flame of Hope will ultimately light the flame during the Maryland Special Olympics games held at Towson University.

“The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics (LETR) began in 1981, when Wichita, Kansas (USA) Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to increase awareness of Special Olympics. He also saw it as an ideal way to get local law enforcement personnel involved with the Special Olympics community. The LETR was quickly adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), now recognized as the founding organization of the Special Olympics Law enforcement Torch Run®. What started as a flicker, thirty-two years ago, has grown into a roaring flame of support and stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.”

“The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) for Special Olympics is to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement. Each year, the LETR initiative grows bigger and better.  At its most basic level, the LETR is a running event in which officers and athletes carry the Flame of Hope® to the Opening Ceremony of Special Olympics local competitions, state and provincial Games, and National Summer or Winter Games. In addition, every two years, law enforcement officers from around the world gather to carry the Flame of Hope® in a Final Leg torch run in honor of the Special Olympics World Summer or World Winter Games.”

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