SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - San Francisco police officers are taking part in the Special Olympics Northern California Torch Run on Monday, an annual tradition that helps raise money as the organization kicks off its summer games.
More than 3,000 members of law enforcement have come together at Union Square for the nine-mile run. Proceeds will directly benefit more than 23,000 children and adults with physical and intellectual disabilities in the region.
The money helps provide free year-round sports training and competitions, inclusive school programs, and health resources.
“SFPD participates because it's the right thing to do,” Sgt. Ray Padmore told KTVU last week on The Nine. “We've been doing it about 20 years right now, running the flame of hope through the incredible city of San Francisco and it gives us an incredible amount of joy to assist our Special Olympic athletes. We know by running, we are contributing to the cause and raising funds which are much-needed to get them uniforms and training throughout the year at no cost to them.”
Officers and cadets will carry Flame of Hope through the city for this leg of the run: The ferry building and oracle park before returning to union square. A cable car will follow in case any officers or runners need rest.
Various law enforcement agencies have been escorting the torch through Northern California. It will ultimately end up at the UC Davis campus to kick off the 2019 Special Olympic Northern California Summer Opening Games.
This marks the 21 years the department has partnered with the Special Olympics and since that time, SFPD has raised more than $2 million.