FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Steve Tompkins
SUFFOLK COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT SUPPORTS SPECIAL OLYMPICS
Officers and civilians of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department supported the 2007 Massachusetts Special Olympics by taking part in the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Torch Run. The run was designed for law enforcement officers, representing the state, to act as "Guardians of the Flame" and carry the Special Olympics torch "Flame of Hope" to the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics games in Boston. The run is not only a salute to the athletes from Massachusetts who will compete in the games, but also an honor for the participating law enforcement officers who take part during the run. The 2007 Massachusetts Special Olympics Summer Games were held from June 15 – June 17.
The morning of June 15, the "Flame of Hope," with the support of law enforcement officials made up of police and county sheriff’s departments, started out in Provincetown and wound its way through the seventy–eight mile route to the final leg at Boston College in Chestnut Hill. At approximately 7 p.m. the torch arrived at the Boston College campus and met up with members from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and other local law enforcement agencies who then led the torch along the 3.4–mile Torch Run Final Leg to kick–off the opening ceremonies where over 3,000 Special Olympic athletes and spectators waited.
Members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department ran with the torch and also drove support cruisers within the procession along the route from Boston College to the Boston University Fitness & Recreation Center in Allston, MA.
Torch run participant and Sheriff’s Department Lieutenant William Munroe was impressed with the turnout from all the law enforcement communities. "I have a friend who’s son was competing in the track event and he was so excited to see all the different law enforcement agencies coming down the street with blue lights and sirens wailing."
"It was truly humbling to be part of the event and to greet all the cheering athletes as the torch made its way inside the center," said Sheriff’s Department Deputy Director of Communications & External Affairs Ed Geary Jr. "The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department looks forward to doing what it can to support the Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run in the years to come."
Sheriff’s Department Assistant Deputy Superintendent Julie White concurred with Geary. "The best part of the whole evening was the opening ceremonies with the athletes. They were amazing, and so excited to see us and take pictures with the members of law enforcement. They would come up to us, high five and hug us, and you couldn’t help but leave with a smile on your face," said White.
This marks the second time within a year that the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department has reached out to support the local Special Olympics. Six months ago, the Sheriff’s Department made a donation of ten surplus radios to help them fulfill their mission.
The mission of Special Olympics Massachusetts is to provide year–round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of well–coached Olympic–type sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities by providing them with continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, prepare for entry into school and community programs, express courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics Athletes, and the community.