Local police officers and staff from Cottonwood, Camp Verde and Sedona participated in the 16th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics this week. The series of runs takes place each spring and summer throughout the United States. Arizona officers will finish their run this week at Desert Vista High School in Ahwatukee, the site of the 2001 Special Olympics Arizona Summer Games.
Sedona officers ran or bicycled the torch from Sedona to Cottonwood passing the torch off to Cottonwood Police at the Cottonwood Taco Bell the morning of May 9. Cottonwood Police then ran or bicycled from Taco Bell along Arizona 260 to the Interstate 17-260 interchange where they met up with Camp Verde Department of Public Transportation officers around 1 p.m.
Ten DPS officers continued the run, either individually or in groups, from Camp Verde up Copper Canyon to Arizona 169 and 69 Junction in Prescott Valley where the torch was handed off to Prescott officers.
Cottonwood law enforcement officers participating in this year's run included: Lt. Keith Porter, Officers Rob Burson, Dan Renner, Brian Rader, Bill Johnson and Jason Moyer.
Camp Verde DPS officers were: Sgt. Dick Murie, Sgt. John Philpot, Officers Gene Morand, Cleave Odegard, Matt Rosemeyer, Robert Ullery, Dave Good, Brian Bullard, Brady Bullard and Shawn Evans.
The common goal of the Torch Run is to raise money to support Special Olympics athletes as well as help dispel the myths surrounding the capabilities of people with developmental disabilities. Throughout the course of the Torch Run, participants collect contributions from citizens, service groups and businesses to help support the Special Olympics Program.
This money provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of sports for over 7,000 Arizona citizens with mental disabilities. In its 16-year existence, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than $1,800,000 for Special Olympics in Arizona.