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LUPD joins torch run for Special Olympics

June 6, 2012 : BJ Williams/Liberty University News Service

The Liberty University Police Department joined more than 2,000 officers across the state of Virginia on Wednesday in the 30th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run benefitting Special Olympics.

LUPD picked up the Flame of Hope from the Bedford County Police Department along U.S. 460 near the Bedford County line and officers took turns carrying it to Lynchburg, where they handed it off to the Lynchburg Police Department on Wards Road. The torch will eventually make its way to Richmond, Va., where it will be part of the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Special Olympics Virginia Summer Games on Friday.

This is the fifth year LUPD has participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which raised more than $42 million in 2011.

Officer Miles Tipton, who ran in the event for the third time on Wednesday, said it is a humbling experience to raise awareness for the organization.

“So many times, we take things for granted that those folks struggle with from day to day, so it puts it in perspective just how lucky that we have it,” he said.

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.