Support Special Olympics Washington

Volunteers Needed

Sign up today to be a volunteer at any of the regional games going on in your area throughout the Summer!

What is the  Law Enforcement Torch Run?

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) for Special Olympics is the movement’s largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics in the world.  The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas (USA), Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics. The LETR was quickly adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), now recognized as the founding law enforcement organization of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.  

Since 1981, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics has raised more than $415 million, with a record $43 million raised in 2011 alone.

Over the past 32 years, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has evolved from a symbolic awareness run to one of the most unique annual fund raising efforts by the law enforcement community. From Torch Run T-shirt sales and "Adopt-A-Cop" runner sponsorships to Polar Plunge® and Cops on Doughnut Shops® fundraisers, the Torch Run raises funds so that Special Olympics athletes can benefit from training and competing in Special Olympics sports.

More than 142,000 law enforcement officers in all 50 U.S. states, 12 Canadian provinces and 48 countries contribute to Torch Run efforts annually as Guardians of the Flame®, ensuring the delivery of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial Games, and National Games. 

Since 1987, law enforcement officers from around the world have gathered to carry the Flame of Hope in a Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg in conjunction with Special Olympics World Summer and World Winter Games.  Since 2001, Special Olympics athletes have participated as members of the Unified Final Leg Team.  The last World Games Final Leg took place in January/February of 2013 when an international team of law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes conducted runs and ceremonies in communities throughout The Republic of Korea to heighten awareness of Special Olympics and the World Winter Games that was held in PyeongChang, Korea.