Fullerton Police Logo

News Details

Fullerton PD has a torch for the Special Olympics, and agency proves it on annual run

Fullerton PD has a torch for the Special Olympics, and agency proves it on annual run

Fullerton PD has a torch for the Special Olympics, and agency proves it on annual run

By Lou Ponsi

For Special Olympics swimmer Joey Valliere, 31, of Fullerton, the Fullerton Police Department’s 5-mile leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run was a way to get in better shape for the upcoming Summer Games.

For the 30 or so members of the Fullerton Police Department who ran along with Valliere and two of his Special Olympics teammates Friday, the trek was a way to celebrate the athletes themselves.

The Torch Run is a fundraising and awareness campaign involving dozens of law enforcement agencies, with members of each running through their respective cities carrying the Flame of Hope on a 1,500-mile journey through 200 Southern California cities.

The run culminates in Long Beach before the start of the Special Olympics on June 10.

“It was really fun,” Valliere said. “I love running. It makes me have a lot of strength so I can swim faster.”

The FPD raised a little over $4,600 for the Special Olympics, mainly through its Tip a Cop fundraiser held in May.

Dave Bowman, who oversaw the Host Town program in Fullerton for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, put in a winning bid at a fundraising event, which enabled his wife, Gail, to participate in the run.

“We have friends and families with special needs and we know the impact of (the Special Olympics) personally,” Gail said. “I’ve seen them since they were babies, so this was easy for us to get involved in.”

After receiving the Flame of Hope from the Anaheim PD, the FPD team ran north along Harbor Boulevard from the 91 freeway.

They turned east onto Chapman and ran to State College Boulevard, where they passed the torch to the Cal State Fullerton PD.

When asked how it felt to be running with a team of police officers, Valliere replied:

“It makes me happy inside. I love the police officers.”

Anyone wanting to make a donation can go to the Special Olympics Southern California website sosc.org/orangecounty

Explore