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Lighting the way for inclusion

The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics made its way through the community last week with several area agencies represented, including Holmes Correction Institution, Northwest Florida Reception Center (NWFRC), Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Chipley Police Department, Florida Wildlife Commission, Florida Department of Corrections Probation and Parole, and members of Florida Panhandle Technical College’s Criminal Justice class.  

These agencies joined more than 300 other agencies across the state in what is recognized as the largest fundraising and public awareness project for Special Olympics Florida. 

Each year, the Flame of Hope is carried by more than 5,000 officers on a 1,500-mile relay through Florida’s 67 counties. The Special Olympics reports that since inception, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than half a billion dollars nationwide and has “changed millions of attitudes by engaging law enforcement officers worldwide to be champions of acceptance and inclusion.”

The relay, which began last month, is the precursor to the Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games and will end with officers bringing the Flame of Hope into the Special Olympics Stadium. 

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