Officers have been carrying the Torch for Special Olympics since 1981 and will continue to do so as long as there are Special Olympics athletes to support. The first Torch Run was in 1981 and eight officers carried the Torch through Wichita, Kansas that year but did not raise any money. Last year, over 85,000 officers around the world carried the Flame of Hope and raised over $1 million. This year, it is estimated that even more funds will be raised.
The funds raised stay in the area to support the athletes. The Law Enforcement Torch Run does not keep any of the money. The California Run
Law enforcement started on a Monday, bearing the torch to open the Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games at University of California, Davis. More than 500 members of law enforcement agencies will be running in the annual Special Olympics’ Flame of Hope torch relay, taking steps through 21 counties in Northern California. The event is one of the state’s largest fundraising efforts. Since 1995, $9.3 million has been raised and this year the goal is to raise $850,000 more.