More than 30 local, county, state, federal, and military agencies participated in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for Special Olympics Southern California (LETR) on Tuesday.
The mission of the event was to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement.
Brian Richter, director of LETR, said that hundreds of officers were going to be running from the Chula Vista Police Department all the way up through San Diego, into Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and finishing in Del Mar.
On Wednesday, they will be starting in Del Mar, and carry the torch all the way to Camp Pendleton, where it will proceed into Orange County.
The torch will eventually make its way to Long Beach, where the Summer Games will be held on June 10.
The Special Olympics thrives on the acts of the officers who give their time to this cause that allows them to unite the community and make a positive impact on people with and without intellectual disabilities.
Since its founding in 1968, Special Olympics San Diego County has offered 49 years of year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Lindsey Newman, an athlete who competes on a basketball team for the Special Olympics, said she wants other special athletes to know it is important to “just follow your heart and to pursue what you have become and you are doing the best that you can."
"Do not put yourself down and put yourself out there in the world. Just don’t say those kinds of [negative] things," Newman said.
Newman said she loves playing basketball with her team. They do everything together and have become one big family, she added.
Sandra Albrektsen, from the San Diego Police Department, said she is honored to represent the department and help raise money for a sporting event that inspires people from around the world.
“The Special Olympics celebrates all of our best qualities as human beings," Albrektsen said. "I am so proud of the San Diego Police Department for its long history of raising money for all the athletes who compete.”
If you would like to get involved in the Special Olympics, there are year around opportunities to help out with this cause.
For more information, click here.