On May 7, members from across the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community ran and rode bicycles during the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The run started at Beeline Highway and Shea Boulevard, where members of the Salt River Police Department, Department of Corrections and the SRPMIC received the Special Olympics torch from runners from Fort McDowell. After the 13-mile stretch down Beeline Highway, Salt River passed on the torch to the Mesa Police Department at Beeline Highway and McDowell Road.
This statewide event was created in 1981 to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement. It is the largest grassroots fundraiser for Special Olympics. Since its inception in 1981, it has grown extensively worldwide, with more than 97,000 volunteers spanning 46 countries raising more than $461 million for Special Olympics.
According to Special Olympics, fundraising is only part of what the law-enforcement officers involved with the initiative give to the movement. The athletes say law-enforcement officers are truly supportive of the cause, extending to them friendship, acceptance and encouragement.
SRPD has been participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics for 24 consecutive years, and every year the participation grows. SRPD is proud to have been part of such a significant event for so long.