BPD raises funds, awareness for Special Olympics with 18 participants in annual Torch Run

Dogs Mack and Joe were part of the pack running in Burrillville Police Department's leg of the annual Torch Run.

BURRILLVILLE – It’s a tradition in almost every city and town in Rhode Island that helps to raise funds for the state’s Special Olympic athletes, and in Burrillville, officers are always willing to do their part to carry the torch.

The Burrillville Police Department participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run on Friday, June 3, with a total of 18 people running a 4.1 miles route to raise funds and awareness of the organization as a kick off to the Special Olympic of Rhode Island Summer Games.

Typically held on the Friday after Memorial Day each year, the Torch Run is part of an international campaign for the games, raising funds in Rhode Island for roughly 3,400 participating athletes.

Burrillville police joined the movement in 2014, and members of the department have carried the torch every year since, covering the town’s leg of a journey that ultimately ends at the games’ opening ceremonies at the University of Rhode Island.

Last Friday, 11 officers departed from police headquarters, running down Victory Highway to Broncos Highway, eventually ending at the Chepachet Fire Department, where participants from the Glocester Police Department picked up the torch – and continued the run.

“The Smithfield Police Department had two officers on bicycles who rode all the way to the State House,” explained BPD Lt. Jason Cahill, who was among the runners in the Burrillville leg.

The BPD sold $635 worth of T-shirts in conjunction with the annual event, and were joined by significant others, family members, and even two canine participants – dogs Mack and Joe. The group was accompanied by the vehicles with Oakland Mapleville Fire Department, helping to provide safe passage for the runners.

“We would like to thank members of the Oakland-Mapleville Fire Department for their support, as well as members of the North Providence Police Department motorcycle unit, who assisted us with closing intersections to ensure the safety of all our participants,” noted the department.

With 2022’s run deemed a success, police will await next year’s journey, when they will once again carry the torch, doing their one small part to support the Special Olympics movement worldwide.

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