Local law enforcement members run with a 'flame of hope' for Special Olympics
On Tuesday morning, a group of about 50 law enforcement officers and department personnel began the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Florida.
Officers from nine local area law enforcement agencies — including the police departments of St. Petersburg, Pinellas Park, Largo, Kenneth City, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and Belleair; the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office; and the Florida Highway Patrol — participated in the relay run that began at the St. Petersburg Police Department and ended at the Paul B. Stephens School in Clearwater.
"This is a great way for department members to give something back to our community," said Assistant St. Petersburg Police Chief Michael Kovacsev. "We have been participating in the run for over 25 years."
The event brings community awareness and attention to the various sports programs available to the intellectually disabled, said Laura Collins, director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, Special Olympics Florida.
"The run is one of our largest grass roots efforts worldwide. Seventy-five-hundred to 10,000 officers participate in moving the 'flame of hope,' across this state during various events," she said.