Officers Take On Torch Run Challenge

Bemidji Pioneer


From left, Clearwater County Deputy Matt Grossell, Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force officer Shannon Trepannier, Bemidji Police officer Mike Mestemacher, Beltrami County Deputy Jake Hodapp and Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Kelly Johnson enter the Bemidji city limits in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics. Runners carried the torch in a relay from the Bagley City Park to MarketPlace Food & Drug in Bemidji to raise funds for and awareness of Special Olympics. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper.

On Thursday, local law enforcement agencies participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics.

The torch was carried from Bagley City Park to Marketplace Foods in Bemidji, approximately 26 miles along U.S. Highway 2. Several local law enforcement agencies participated including the Bagley Police Department, Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, Bemidji Police Department, Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Leech Lake Tribal Police, and the United States Border Patrol. The event was organized by the Fraternal Order of Police, Headwaters Lodge No. 12.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is known as the largest grassroots fundraising program benefiting Special Olympics. It began in 1981 in Wichita, Kan., when Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for, and increase awareness of Special Olympics.

In Minnesota, the first Torch Run was organized in 1988. Special Olympics Minnesota now has the support of the Minnesota Association of Chiefs of Police, the Minnesota State Patrol Troopers Association and the Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police.

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