The Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) is the largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics. Founded in 1981 by Police Chief Richard LaMunyon, the LETR has been transforming lives by raising funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement worldwide for more than 30 years. The mission of the LETR for Special Olympics is to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement. Each year, the LETR initiative grows bigger and better.
The Minnesota LETR has been extremely successful thanks to our deeply invested LETR members. In 2012, the LETR for Special Olympics Minnesota (SOMN) involved more than 1,200 law enforcement officers and personnel representing more than 75 agencies throughout the state. Their tremendous efforts raised over $3 million for SOMN. The Minnesota LETR is supported by the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association and Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police.
The LETR is an actual running event, Final Legs, in which members and athletes act as the Guardians of the Flame and run the Flame of Hope® through their communities to the Celebration Ceremonies of SOMN’s Summer Games. It is also a diverse initiative encompassing a variety of fundraisers, including:
- Cop on Top
- Golf tournaments
- Jail ‘n Bail
- Polar Bear Plunge
- T-shirt sales
- World’s Largest Truck Convoy
The Police Department has participated in the LETR as the beginning leg for the State of Minnesota each spring. The Flame of Hope® is then passed around the state until it reaches the state summer games opening ceremony. Most recently, the Police Department participated in the Polar Bear Plunge in Fargo, and held the first annual Truck Pull. During the Truck Pull, teams from the Police Department, Fire Department, and City of Dilworth Fire competed by pulling the SWAT Bearcat and the Dilworth Fire Truck across the Moorhead High School parking lot for the fastest time. The Police Department team prevailed this year, but is excited to see what next year will bring! In 2013, the Police Department has raised more than $3,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota!
In January 2013, an international team of 130 members -- including 92 law enforcement officers, 10 Special Olympics athletes, and 28 support personnel -- served as Guardians of the Flame® as they ran the Flame of Hope® through the cities and towns of the Republic of Korea. This was a prelude throughout to the Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Pyeongchang from January 29 to February 5, 2013. The Final Leg runners were selected from around the world to represent their respective LETR chapters and Special Olympics Programs. Officer Nicole Reno of our Police Department was there to represent the State of Minnesota.