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Walnut Creek Police Carry Torch for Special Olympics

Officers join Torch Run on Tuesday from Broadway Plaza.

The Special Olympics Torch will light up the neighborhood as it comes through Walnut Creek on Tuesday.

WCPD is participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which includes more than 3,500 law enforcement personnel from federal, military, state, county and local agencies.

The year-round fundraiser culminates every year at the Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Danville police officers will pass the torch to Walnut Creek officers in front of Nordstrom at Broadway Plaza.

WCPD officers will run with the torch to Kohl’s in Pleasant Hill and pass it on to Pleasant Hill and Concord police officers.

The torch will then continue its journey toward Solano County.

The Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games is a three-day event in which more than 15,700 athletes compete in 154 competitions throughout the region. This year’s Special Olympics will take place at U.C. Davis from June 22 to June 24.

According to Walnut Creek Police Detective Greg Leonard, WCPD has been participating in this worthy cause for over a decade.

“It’s a fantastic event that brings awareness to the Special Olympics, which is a very inspiring program,” Leonard said. “We’ll have approximately 10 officers running tomorrow.”

Leonard said the participating officers will be escorted by a couple of police cars and possibly a bomb truck to help generate interest.

According to the Special Olympics website, the Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grass roots fundraising program and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics.

The program began in 1981, when Wichita, Kansas, Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw a need to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. He came up with the idea of the Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement with their communities and Special Olympics by running the torch in intrastate relays that converge at their local Summer Games.

The Torch Run is now worldwide, with all 50 states and more than 35 foreign countries participating, generating over $34 million a year for Special Olympics Programs. It has raised more than $100 million worldwide.

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