33rd annual Law Enforcement Torch Run takes the streets in Lansing


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – For some of you, a 5-mile run probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. But for many law enforcement officers, a 5-mile run is a very big deal as each step means another dollar for the Special Olympics.

The event is called the Law Enforcement Torch Run which brings officers from around the state together for a good cause.

From Copper Harbor, Michigan all the way down to Sterling Heights, police officers are taking the streets to run over 750 miles throughout the week all for a great cause.

“There’s 3 teams always running, there’s always a runner out beating the streets, continuously bringing awareness to Special Olympics and Special Olympics benefits our brothers and sisters, family members, neighbors that have intellectual disabilities,” said Captain Darin Southworth of the Lansing Police Department.

And to torch run liaison Andrea Rachko, seeing law enforcement unite across Michigan is truly special.

“It’s great to see officers make Special Olympics their cause of choice and to see them raise funds and interact with our athletes,” said Rachko.

What started out with around 6 or 7 law enforcement officers 33 years ago, is now bigger and better than ever.

“There are well over 1000 law enforcement officers who will participate in Michigan’s torch run week which is always the second week in September. We’re proud of what the officers do, every year it gets better and it’s inspiring to sit and watch what we started from to where we are today,” Torch Run Law Enforcement Director John Card stated.

Captain Darin Southworth of the Lansing Police Department has taken part in the law enforcement torch run for 27 years and in his eyes, not only does this run mean raising awareness for Special Olympics…but creating memories that will last a lifetime.

“To see that immediate response to the impact that you have on another humans life, or many human’s life is just…it’s hooked me,” said Southworth.

Last year, the run raised near $1.5 million dollars for Special Olympics just in Michigan alone and this year, officers are hoping to exceed that number.

If you’re interested in purchasing a $10 “Law Enforcement Torch Run” t-shirt that will benefit the Special Olympics, you can head to our “Seen on 6” tab on our website.

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