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Police carry the torch for Special Olympics

Published on June 06, 2023

Police carry the torch for Special Olympics

Police officers carry the Special Olympics torch throughout the run.

Participants gather for the Torch Run, which started at the Public Safety parking lot.

Police officers and other Eastern Connecticut State University community members took part in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run on June 1 to benefit Special Olympics CT.  The run began at the parking lot of Eastern’s Public Safety building and wound through Willimantic. 

The local Torch Run was held on Day 2 of the three-day statewide event that involved 1,500 active and retired law enforcement personnel, more than 90 active police departments and 18 Department of Correction facilities. 

The Law Enforcement Torch Run raises funds from individuals, businesses, organizations, T-shirt sales and more to benefit the Special Olympics. 

“The Torch Run not only raises awareness and funds for the Special Olympics, but it also serves as a powerful symbol of our commitment to serving and protecting all members of our community,” said Stephen Tavares, Eastern chief of police and director of public safety.

“We have collaborated with the Willimantic Police Department for several years for this event and we are thankful for their participation,” he said.

The first run was held in 1986 and has expanded to become the largest grassroots fundraising event for Special Olympics CT. The torch passed along in the various legs of the run is later carried into the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Summer Games, which begin June 10.

Written by Lucinda Weiss