LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 9, 2014) — University of Kentucky Police officers and other law enforcement officers from around Kentucky participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics Kentucky Friday, June 6. The torch run, which raises funds for and of awareness of Special Olympics, began in Georgetown, followed by Frankfort and Lexington and ended in Richmond, where the Special Olympics Kentucky Summer Games were held over the weekend.
In the Lexington leg of the run, officers ran from UK's Main Building to the UK Wildcat Alumni Plaza on Avenue of Champions where UK President Eli Capilouto, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, UK Police Chief Joe Monroe, Lexington Public Safety Commissioner Clay Mason, Lexington Assistant Police Chief Mark Barnard and Scott Teal, special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, spoke to the runners.
"As law enforcement officials from across the Commonwealth, you protect and serve your communities every day – a debt for which countless people are deeply grateful," said Capilouto. "Just as you knit your communities together as public servants, so too does the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Representatives from Covington to Russellville, from Lexington to Louisville, and small towns in between come together to represent a single Commonwealth united for a single cause."
In addition to carrying the “Flame of Hope,” the LETR includes various fundraising activities year-round involving law enforcement officials around the state. Law Enforcement volunteers annually raise more than $160,000 to support Special Olympics programs
Chief Monroe said community service is important to the UK Police Department, and Special Olympics Kentucky has been a particularly important fundraising effort for UKPD.
"I really can't say enough about these young athletes," Monroe said. They are great kids and an inspiration to us all."
UK's participation in the torch run was coordinated by UK Police Lt. Robert Turner. Runners included Capt. Bill Webb, Ofc. Laura Andrews, Ofc. Mike Scott, Ofc. Zach Downing, Ofc. Jennifer Malgar, Ofc. David Duncan and Ofc. Vaun Brannock.
UK Police personnel have participated in several LETR events to support Special Olympics including most recently Tip-A-Cop, where law enforcement volunteers help serve in partner restaurants for additional "tips" that fund Special Olympic events. Also, UK Police will be involved in Cops on Doughnut Shops this later this week, an event where law enforcement volunteers take to the roofs of Krispy Kreme Doughnut shops to raise funds.
Special Olympics Kentucky is celebrating 44 years of changing lives. The program was founded in 1970 and has held statewide competitions since 1972. Throughout that time, Special Olympics Kentucky has been a leading advocate for people with intellectual disabilities in the state. The program currently serves more than 7,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities in Kentucky and offers year-round sports training and competition in 15 sports. Special Olympics Kentucky also offers health screening opportunities and leadership training programs for athletes and early childhood development programs.
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