Law enforcement, volunteers participate in Special Olympics CT t - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Law enforcement, volunteers participate in Special Olympics CT torch run

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Officers and athletes geared up for the kick off of Special Olympics Connecticut Torch Run. (WFSB) Officers and athletes geared up for the kick off of Special Olympics Connecticut Torch Run. (WFSB)
OLD LYME, CT (WFSB) -

Thousands of Connecticut men and women participated in the annual torch run for the Special Olympics on Wednesday.

More than 3,000 people in blue laced up for the annual torch run. The three-day event kicked off on Wednesday morning in Old Lyme.

“When officers come together, it's a brotherhood like no other,” Guilford Police Detective Sgt. Tim Bernier said.

The law enforcement torch run for Special Olympics marked 30 years, Bernier has been part of it for ten of those years.

“I have no direct tie to Special Olympics,” Bernier said. “It's just the law enforcement in general has a big relationship, but it's entering the stadium and just seeing genuine appreciation from the greatest group of people on the planet is really what does it for me."

Each year, more than 85,000 law enforcement officers across the world take part in the run, which carries the "flame of hope" to the opening ceremony. 

In Connecticut, the run will cover over 500 miles and go through more than 100 cities and towns. The goal was to raise $500,000.  

“We'll be supported by state police motors and local motors, classic police cars, mountain bike units, really everything that police departments have to put out, they'll put out for this,” Bernier said.

The three-day event will end Friday night at Southern Connecticut State University. 

“It's hard to put into words what our athletes think about law enforcement. They are their heroes,” Lisa Carlone with Special Olympics Connecticut said. “They are their friends. They are their coaches."

To learn more about the summer games, click here. 

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