The 2012 Special Olympics campaign is under way and the Florida Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest annual public relations and fund raising event amongst Special Olympics Florida and law enforcement agencies. Statewide, the participating chiefs, officers, sheriffs, deputies, special agents, correctional officers, probation and parole officers, military police and cadets from virtually every branch of federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement, represent a total of over 300 different agencies.
The signature event of the law enforcement community’s year-round support of Special Olympics is the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run. For 29 years, the “Flame of Hope” has traversed Florida in an intrastate relay of simultaneous routes throughout the state, covering countless thousands of miles. The torch is carried by federal, state, and local law enforcement officers from the Alabama/Florida state line in Century to the Opening Ceremonies of Florida’s annual State Summer Games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports. The First Leg of the Torch Run begins in Escambia County (Century) on March 26, 2012 and ends with the Final Leg in Osceola County (Kissimmee), with stops along the way in virtually every county in Florida.
The Walton County leg of the Torch Run is scheduled for March 29, 2012 and will be represented by law enforcement officers from several different agencies, to include: The Walton County Sheriff’s Department, The Defuniak Springs Police Department, The Florida Department of Corrections (Institutions), The Florida Department of Corrections (Probation and Parole), The Florida Parole Commission, The Florida Highway Patrol, The United States Probation Office, The State Attorney’s Office, and the Walton County Department of Corrections.
The Walton County Law Enforcement community is also excited to announce that on March 20, 2012, Applebee’s of Sandestin will host a “Tip a Cop” fundraising event. Law Enforcement officers will volunteer to act as guest “servers” from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., greeting customers and requesting donations for Special Olympics.
The mission of Special Olympics Florida is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It gives them the continuing opportunity to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendships with their families and other Special Olympic athletes and the community.
Lieutenant Tilman Mears
Special Operations Division Commander