Hundreds Of Police Officers Join Torch Run

By  //  April 26, 2013

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Effort Benefits Special Olympics

(VIDEO: SpecialOlympicsNE)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – For many police officers who work night shift, getting up early Friday morning to go running with friends is not usually a priority.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run kicked off at 9 a.m. Friday and continues throughout the day in Brevard County. (Image by Ed Pierce)
Brevard County Sheriff’s Agent Randy Holliday is leading the Law Enforcement Torch Run which continues throughout Brevard County on Friday. (Image by Ed Pierce)

Yet in cities across Brevard County on Friday morning, hundreds of officers from a host of Brevard agencies were out running to help out the Special Olympics.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an annual event held on the Space Coast in April and drew participants of all ages and ranks.

“This helps children who are in need,” said Lt. Richard Cordeau of the West Melbourne Police Department. “It’s gratifying to know you are doing something good for someone in an event like this and especially for a child.”

The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement.

The torch run for Special Olympics started in 1981 when Police Chief Richard LaMunyon of Wichita, Kan. recognized an urgent need to help boost awareness of the Special Olympics organization and do so by involving local law enforcement personnel.

A group of police officers from West Melbourne form up to run their leg of the Brevard County Law Enforrcement Torch Run on Friday morning. (Image by Ed Pierce)
A group of police officers from West Melbourne form up to run their leg of the Brevard County Law Enforrcement Torch Run on Friday morning. (Image by Ed Pierce)

Over the years the movement has spread worldwide and raised millions for Special Olympics, a year-round sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

It offers sports training and competition in nine Olympic-type sports for athletes across the Space Coast and participants are never charged to compete

Athletes are able to compete at county, area and state Special Olympics Games at no cost to them or their families.

Crime Scene Technician Alicia Miller of the Palm Bay Police Department joined a group of officers starting their run at West Melbourne’s Field of Dreams Park at 8 a.m. Friday.

It was the second run for Miller, who began by running in Palm Bay’s Torch Run just after 7 a.m.

“I think it’s very important for the community to be aware of Special Olympics,” Miller said. “And it’s a privilege for those in law enforcement to be a part of this.”

Miller, who recently finished up studies at the police academy, usually runs about 10 to 15 miles a week, so she didn’t do any special training to get ready for the torch run.

“I’m running in all the Brevard Torch Run events today and that will be about 13 miles today by the time I am done this afternoon.”

Early morning runs were conducted in Palm Bay, West Melbourne and Melbourne.


Cocoa Beach Leg — Starts at 11 a.m. at 3920 N. Atlantic Avenue and ends at the Publix at 2007 N. Atlantic Avenue, a distance of one mile.

Rockledge Leg — Starts at noon at Publix, at 1880 U.S. Hwy 1 in Rockledge and runs to the Springwood Estates at 951 Eyster Boulevard, a distance of two miles.

Titusville Leg — Starts at 2 p.m. at the Miracle City Mall, 2500 S. Washington Avenue in Titusville and runs to the Titusville Fire Station #11 downtown, a distance of two miles.

Brevard County Jail Complex Leg — Starts at 3:30 p.m. at Parrish Medical Center, 5005 Port St. John Parkway and runs to the jail complex parking lot at 860 Camp Road, Sharpes, a distance of two miles.