Officers from the Dalton Police Department and deputies from the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office ran nearly nine miles together today to raise money for Special Olympics Georgia. The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run took place in hot, humid conditions under a sunny sky.
The route took officers from the old jail on Waugh Street through a group of cheering students at City Park Elementary School and down Thornton Avenue to Bryman's Plaza. From there, the officers boarded a bus to ride down to the South Bypass where they ran down Highway 41 to greet the kids at Valley Point Elementary School. After taking a break to greet the students, the run continued down to the Gordon County line on Highway 41. All told, the run covered a distance just shy of nine miles.
To run in the race, the officers had to raise money to support Special Olympics Georgia. This year, the Dalton Police Department raised nearly $1,500 in support of the effort. The statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run, comprised of runs across Georgia just like the Whitfield County event, is the largest annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Georgia, accounting for more than a third of the organization's budget.
"The Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics is one of the best ways that police officers and the community can show our support for these brave athletes," said Dalton Police Chief Jason Parker, who took part in the opening ceremonies of Whitfield County's Special Olympics two weeks ago. "It's a great opportunity to join with our colleagues at the Sheriff's Office for a good cause. When we see the joy and competitive spirit in the athletes' faces, it really feels like we are making a difference."
To learn more about Special Olympics Georgia and also to find out how you can make a donation, click here.
Below: Sheriff Scott Chitwood and Chief Jason Parker lead law enforcement personnel from the Dalton Police Department and the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office on the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run.