Law Enforcement Torch Run
On Thursday June 1, the Flame of Hope passed through Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Tustin, Santa Ana and Orange. The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) concludes in Long Beach on June 9, traveling 1,500 miles through 200 Southern California communities. The torch run raises awareness and money for the Special Olympics of Southern California where more than 1,100 athletes will compete in aquatics, track and field, basketball, bocce, golf and gymnastics at the June 10-11th games at Cal State Long Beach. LETR began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas, Police Chief Richard LaMunyon created the Torch Run. He thought the Torch Run would help law enforcement be active in the community and support Special Olympics Kansas. In 1983, Chief LaMunyon presented the program to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) where they decided to endorse Torch Run and became the “Founding Law Enforcement Organization.” With the IACP’s support, LETR became the movement's largest public awareness and fundraising group for Special Olympics.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Southern California is the largest public awareness vehicle and grassroots fundraiser with more than 3,500 officers in Southern California championing acceptance and inclusion. The Law Enforcement Torch Run is represented in all 50 U.S. states, Canadian provinces and 46 nations with 97,000 officers around the world, raising more than half a billion dollars since its inception in 1981. The Law Enforcement Torch Run in Southern California is one of the leading programs in the world, raising $1.7 million in 2015 with participants representing 200 law enforcement agencies.
This year UCIPD had twenty one runners that included Officers, CSOs, and professional staff. We received the torch from State Parole at the intersection of Jamboree and Campus Drive where the team then proceeded to run three miles through campus to ultimately pass the torch to Irvine PD who were waiting at University and Harvard. Sergeant Acuna, Officer Haid, Officer Patton, and Officer Farley escorted the team safely through the streets by blocking traffic as the team held a steady jogging pace throughout the course. We sincerely thank everyone who participated this year and we look forward to even more people joining next year!