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Law enforcement supports Special Olympics
This year, as in the past, local law enforcement officers and staffs have arranged their off-duty schedules to support Special Olympics Washington.
Fourteen years ago, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, the Kitsap County Deputy Sheriff’s Guild and other local law enforcement agencies banded together to form Kitsap Officers Supporting Special Olympics.
This year’s event is May 29, when law enforcement runners will carry the Special Olympics Torch, known as the “Flame of Hope,” during a running and boating relay, throughout Kitsap County and a portion of the Key Peninsula and across the Tacoma Narrows.
This relay is part of the nation-wide Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise community awareness to the needs of Special Olympics. The run is Special Olympics’ largest grass-roots vehicle: since its inception, more than 90,000 law enforcement officers have carried the flame around 50 states and 35 nations raising awareness and funds for Special Olympics.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run is scheduled to coincide with the start of the 2014 Special Olympics Washington Summer Games, to be held at Joint Base Lewis - McChord in Tacoma, beginning with the opening ceremonies Friday evening, May 30, and continuing through Sunday, June 1.
“I am pleased to join with the county’s law enforcement agency chiefs, deputies, police officers, troopers, special agents, Department of Homeland Security personnel, law enforcement family members, and staff and volunteers in supporting this extremely important effort,” said Sheriff Steve Boyer. “While there are a large number of outstanding causes that are supported by law enforcement, Special Olympics has always held an extra-special place in our endeavors towards community involvement.”
Agencies include the Bainbridge Island Police Department, Bremerton Police Department, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Naval Criminal Investigative Service Northwest Field Office, Poulsbo Police Department, Suquamish Police Department, U.S. Coat Guard - Maritime Force Protection Unit Bangor, and Washington State Patrol District 8. Additionally, non-law enforcement county employees and other interested civilians are adding their legs to the torch run by joining in on the relay.
The vision of Special Olympics is to help bring all persons with intellectual disabilities into larger society under conditions where they are accepted, respected and given the chance to become useful and productive citizens.
Special Olympics Washington provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in Olympic-type sporting events for children and adult athletes, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.
More than 7,000 athletes compete in Special Olympics Washington; some 2.25 million athletes compete in Special Olympics in more than 150 countries.