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Keeping the torch going for Special Olympics

St. Francois County law enforcement officers will be running across the county May 25 to raise money for the Special Olympics of Missouri.

The 26th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics starts at 6 a.m. in St. Francois County on U.S. 67 at the Madison County line. The run, which ends at the Jefferson County line, is normally over by 11:30 a.m.

Desloge Chief James Bullock, the organizer, said normally the runners come from the Department of Corrections, Farmington and Desloge Police Departments, the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The runners are escorted by emergency vehicles. “We try to stay on the shoulder as much as possible,” Bullock said.

He asks motorists to be extremely careful and move over to the passing lane if possible to give them plenty of room.

The Missouri Police Chiefs Association founded the torch run in 1986 and now every branch of law enforcement participates.

The Special Olympics of Missouri Torch Run ranked sixth in the world. The year-round effort raises money and awareness for Special Olympics.

Law enforcement is the single largest contributing group for Special Olympics of Missouri. More than 15,000 people with disabilities are being served by the Special Olympics of Missouri.

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