FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — More than 35 people ran in the Law Enforcement Torch Run on Wednesday, March 29 for the Special Olympics Florida.

2023 marks 51 years of Special Olympics in Florida, founded in Okaloosa County.

The Fort Walton Beach Police Department, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Crestview Police Department and local Special Olympics athletes participated in multiple runs in the county carrying the torch from Crestview to Fort Walton Beach to keep it moving to Orlando.

Next, the torch runs moves through Walton County. Check future run dates and locations online.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is taking place all over the state leading to the Special Olympics State Summer Games on May 19-20.

Special Olympics Florida staff said the law enforcement torch run raises around $750,000 each year.

More about the Law Enforcement Torch Run:

All around the world, Special Olympics has a formidable and caring legion of protectors and supporters: the law enforcement community. The signature event of the law enforcement community’s year-round support is the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Florida. 

Funds are generated through the sale of the popular Torch Run T-shirts and hats, and through various local fundraising events like Tip-A-Cop where law enforcement personnel volunteer their time as “celebrity waiters” in restaurants and receive tips to raise funds for Special Olympics Florida. These officers work closely alongside the regular wait staff, serving water and coffee, and acting as hosts.