Law Enforcement Torch Run Is Held

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Law enforcement officers from across Clay County gathered Monday morning for the first leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. The Northeast Arkansas leg begins in Piggott, with Lt. Jeremi Wicker of the Piggott PD once again afforded the honor carrying the torch on the first leg. Leading the procession with the American Flag was Scott Dodd, of Corning, a member of the Paragould Police Department. Pictured are, from left: Michael Tompkins with the Arkansas State Police, Jeff Wolfenbarger with the Piggott PD, Wicker and Dodd.
TD photo/Tim Blair

An effort which has spanned over three decades continued this week as law enforcement in Arkansas is celebrating Special Olympics athletes through special fundraising and awareness campaigns. Monday morning one such effort originated in Piggott, as the first leg of the Northeast Arkansas Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics of Arkansas began.

Since 1987 members of Arkansas' law enforcement community have come together to raise over $7.2 million for Special Olympics, but fundraising is not all they do. Through the torch run, they also serve as guardians of the flameŚrunning miles upon miles to bring awareness of the true ability of people with disabilities.

Each spring law enforcement officers run the Flame of Hope into hundreds of competitions. During the month of May, Arkansas agencies join forces for the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which kicked-off Monday. Over the course of the week, four flames will make their way from the four corners of the state, converging on the capitol on Thursday for the final leg. This will be a 50-mile continous run to Searcy, and Harding Stadium, for the opening of the 2018 Summer Games.

Prior to the start of the Northeast Arkansas leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run the local participants gathered for a group photo. Pictured are, from left: Justin Jackson, Piggott Police Chief Don Poole, Michael Tompkins of the ASP, Jeff Wolfenbarger of the Piggott PD, Jeremi Wicker of the Piggott PD, Clay County Sheriff Terry Miller, Aaron Midkiff of the Clay County Sheriff's Department and Scott Dodd of the Paragould Police Department.
TD photo/Tim Blair

With Sheriff Terry Miller and Piggott Police Chief Don Poole leading the procession as escorts, the Northeast Arkansas run began just before 8:30 a.m. Monday at the stoplight in Piggott, with a group carrying the flame through town. Once again this year, Lt. Jeremi Wicker of the Piggott PD had the honor of beginning the Northeast Arkansas leg. Other local runners included Jeff Wolfenbarger, Justin Jackson and Michael Tompkins.

The LETR made its second stop in Rector and later wrapped-up the day at Centennial Bank in Paragould. Centennial Bank served as a major sponsor for the event, and has sponsored pep rallies at many locations along all four torch routes.

Law enforcement supporters also hold other special events to benefit Special Olympics, such as Polar Plunges, Boots-N-Badges events, Tip A Cop and softball tournaments. A major source of funding also comes from the sale of their torch run t-shirts, which feature a new design each year. Those wanting additional information may visit them online at http://www.specialolympicsarkansas.org/law-enforcement-torch-run.html

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