CONTACT: Officer Alicia Hernandez
LOS ANGELES AIRPORT POLICE OFFICERS PASS TORCH TO SUPPORT SPECIAL OLYMPICS RUN IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
(Los Angeles, California – June 8, 2012) Los Angeles Airport Police officers participated today in the 2012 Southern California Law Enforcement Torch Run® to promote and raise funds for the Special Olympics. This is the tenth year of Airport Police participation. The southern leg of the torch run began May 29, with a ceremony at the Chula Vista Police Department. The run headed north to Orange County, then travelled through Riverside and San Bernardino counties before entering Los Angeles County.
At the intersection of Pershing Drive and Imperial Highway on the southwest corner of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), runners from the Federal Bureau of Investigation passed the torch to an Airport Police contingent comprised of Chief Michael Hyams; Lieutenant Robert Rios; Sergeants Troy Takaki and Jeff Shelton; and Officers James Adrian, Richard Blaha, Tanansuk Chow, Tim Daniels, Jorge Mora and Mark Corral. Los Angeles Police Department Captain Raymond Maltese along with LAX Crime Task Force officers were also a part of this group.
The Airport Police contingent ran 3.5 miles along eastbound Imperial Highway to the intersection of La Cienega Boulevard, where the torch was passed to the Hawthorne Police Department.
Airport Police Officers from the Bike Unit, Commercial Enforcement Unit and the Motors Unit provided support functions for the runners. The Los Angeles Airport Police Supervisors Association (LAAPSA) also made a generous donation to the Law Enforcement Special Olympics Torch Run®.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® was created in 1981 by Chief Richard LaMunyon of the Wichita (Kansas) Police Department as a way to involve his officers in the community by supporting their local Special Olympics organization. The first Law Enforcement Torch Run® involved six officers and raised no money.
Almost 30 years later, the event now includes more than 100 separate runs in over 35 countries. In 2011, more than 85,000 law enforcement officers raised more than $42.6 million to support community-based sports programs for people with intellectual disabilities. The Torch Run has become the largest grassroots fundraising event for Special Olympics.
Officers from local, county, state, federal, and military agencies will carry the "Flame of Hope" throughout Southern California as part of the 2012 Law Enforcement Torch Run®. The three main legs (North, Central, and South) will join together on Saturday, June 9, at the campus of California State University, Long Beach for the 2012 Summer Games. There, the three torches will be "unified" into a single flame that will light the opening ceremony cauldron for the Games.
The Los Angeles Airport Police Division is the fourth largest law enforcement agency in Los Angeles County with more than 1,100 law enforcement, security and staff personnel. Airport Police is a division of Los Angeles World Airports, the City department that owns and operates three airports in Southern California: Los Angeles International (LAX), LA/Ontario International (ONT) and Van Nuys (general aviation).