About the Torch Run®
In 1981, Chief Richard LaMunyon of the Wichita, Kansas Police Department created the Law Enforcement Torch Run® as a way to involve his officers in the community by running a torch relay for their local Special Olympics. The first Torch Run involved six officers and they raised no money.
The Torch Run has grown to include more than 125 runs in 48 nations. Since its inception 32 years ago, more than 142,000 law enforcement officers have raised $414 million for the Special Olympics movement worldwide. The Torch Run has become the largest grassroots fundraiser for Special Olympics.
The 2012 Southern California Law Enforcement Torch Run involved more than 2,000 officers who proudly carried the Special Olympics Torch more than 500 miles and through more than 150 communities. The officers, representing law enforcement agencies throughout the state, collected donations for their participation and are sponsored by civic groups, local businesses and generous friends.
Officers also raised more than $1.2 million in 2012 through Tip-A-Cop® dinners, Plane/Fire Truck Pulls, 5K/10K runs, Raffles, Car Shows, Bike Rides, Polar Plunges®, Adopt-a-Cop programs, golf tournaments and other special events. Officers volunteer their time to support their local athletes. Because of our volunteer base, all funds raised by law enforcement personnel go to Special Olympics. The donations are directed into program support and development, expenses for athlete participation in local, regional, state and international competitions as well as training workshops and conferences.