SOUTH COUNTY — King City and Greenfield police departments participated in carrying the Special Olympics Northern California’s “Flame of Hope” through their respective cities last week for the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.
Officers and staff members from both departments, along with more than 5,000 law enforcement personnel from federal, military, state, county and local agencies, ran the torch through Northern California from June 7 to 21. The event was part of a year-round fundraising campaign that culminated at the Special Olympics Summer Games last weekend at the University of California, Davis, campus.
The Summer Games brought together more than 700 Special Olympics athletes from throughout Northern California to compete in aquatics, bocce, tennis and track and field. The games officially began after the final leg of the torch run was completed and the Flame of Hope lit up the Special Olympics cauldron during opening ceremonies.
This year the Flame of Hope traveled hundreds of miles throughout 21 counties and arrived in Davis, Calif., last Friday, June 21, for the opening ceremonies of the games.
Every officer who ran the torch earned the right to be a “Guardian of the Flame” by raising funds and awareness for the Special Olympics.
In Monterey County, the torch began its journey June 17 in King City with Police Chief Robert Masterson and his staff before heading north through Greenfield, Soledad, Gonzales, Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula cities later that morning.
In Greenfield, several students from Greenfield High School also joined the officers on Monday and ran alongside the torch on El Camino Real to the local police station.
“We would like to thank Mrs. Torres, her staff and students from Greenfield High School for joining us for a portion of this run,” wrote Greenfield Police Department on its Facebook page.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run — one of the state’s biggest grassroots fundraising efforts — has become the single largest supporter of Special Olympics Northern California, which offers a free year-round sports program for almost 21,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities.