Skip to main content area
June 20, 2018

Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run

History of the Law Enforcement Torch Run®

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw a need to raise awareness and funds for Special Olympics. He conceived the idea of the torch run as a way to involve local law enforcement with their communities and Special Olympics. Local law enforcement agencies kick off the Special Olympics Summer Games by running the torch across their communities.


Now a global event, all 50 states and more than 46 foreign countries participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run® -- generating more than $34 million a year for Special Olympics programs around the world. Since its inception in 1981, the Law Enforcement Torch Run® has raised more than $461 million worldwide. It is the largest grassroots fundraising program and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics.

Northern California

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is a proud sponsor and community partner in this year’s event.  The torch run makes its way through Northern California on Friday, June 22. The first leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® relay starts at 5:15 am at Beals Point in Granite Bay. The torch run will conclude at the west steps of the California State Capitol; see the attached routes and times. At the capitol, leaders from the Special Olympics and local law enforcement agencies will address the runners, supporters, and Special Olympics athletes.

Over 140 law enforcement runners from the region will participate in the relay, with more than 30 representing the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. In advance of the event, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department personnel have also held several “tip-a-cop” fundraising events to support this very important cause.

After the Law Enforcement Torch Run®, the Special Olympics Summer Games will be held in Davis June 22-24. To celebrate the Special Olympics and the countless law enforcement and community volunteers, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department will post videos through our social media channels.


Sergeant Zach Hatch

Acting Sheriff’s Spokesman

Translation Disclaimer