Upper Marlboro, MD… Sheriff Melvin C. High joined Hyattsville City Chief of Police Douglas Holland, along with Prince George’s County Assistant Police Chief Hector Valez and other law enforcement officers from agencies throughout the region Wednesday, June 8th, at a ceremony to begin the Prince George’s County leg of the Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics Maryland.
Chief Holland, who chairs the Law Enforcement Torch Run, said “It’s heartwarming to see how the Prince George’s County Public Safety Community supports the 7,200 Special Olympics Maryland athletes and their coaches and families.” Thanking each of the agencies for their commitment and participation with Special Olympics, Chief Holland said the Torch Run ends with the final leg of the race at 6:00 p.m. today when the Flame of Hope opens the Special Olympics Maryland Summer Games at Towson University where it will burn throughout the weekend.
Sheriff High said he continues to be proud of the role that law enforcement has played in the growth of Special Olympics. “I’m still and always deeply moved when I see the joy on the faces of athletes who are delighted by the thrill of competition and accomplishment,” High said
The Olympic Flame was presented at the ceremony by six athletes led by Prince George’s County Olympian Ryan Martin.
The Special Olympics Torch Run began as an idea of Witchita, Kansas Police Chief Richard LaMunyon who, in 1981, wanted to involve law enforcement in Special Olympics to raise money. The idea was embraced three years later by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the project took off. The IACP’s support encouraged involvement of the law enforcement community to include organizations at every level of government.
For more information, contact the Communications and Public Affairs Division at 301-780-7354.