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LUPD officers participate in Special Olympics torch run

June 6, 2013 : Liberty University News Service

LUPD officers who participated this year are (left to right): Cpl. Scott Markle, ESO (Emergency Services Officer) Andrew Reynolds, ESO Stephen Tucker, ESO Rudy Morris, Cpl. John Zacharias, ESO Bryce Enold, ESO Stephen Stevens, and ESO David Bishop.

Liberty University Police Department participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) for Special Olympics on June 5, joining more than 2,000 officers who carried the Flame of Hope across the state to the opening ceremonies of the 2013 Special Olympics Virginia Summer Games in Richmond, Va., June 7-8. LUPD has participated in this event for more than 12 years.

LUPD officers were handed the torch by the Bedford County Sheriff's Office at the Bedford County/Campbell County line on U.S. 460. They took turns running 8 miles and passed it to the Lynchburg Police Department at the Sheetz on Wards Road. The LUPD officers raised more than $200 for Special Olympics Virginia.

“We were proud to participate again this year,” said Cpl. John Zacharias. “Our officers know the impact this program has on Special Olympics athletes and their families in our area and throughout the state. It’s a fun way to bring awareness to such a great program.”

According to the Special Olympics website, the torch run began in 1981 when Wichita, Kan., Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to increase awareness of Special Olympics.