This year, Davenport Police Sergeant Andrew Harris was selected to represent Iowa law enforcement in carrying the flame at the National Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run — which will have its flame lighting May 20 outside Soldier Field in Chicago.

Each year, law enforcement agencies nationwide team up for both statewide and National Law Enforcement Torch Runs (LETR) to fundraise, support, and create awareness for the athletes who participate in Special Olympics, according to a Davenport Police Department release.

The national Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics this year includes a Davenport police officer.

During the events, law enforcement officers carry the Special Olympics Flame of Hope along planned routes, before the flame is passed to a Special Olympics athlete to light the Olympic flame at the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Summer games in June.

LETR for Special Olympics engages law enforcement worldwide championing acceptance and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities. For more information, visit LETR.org.

A 40th-anniversary Law Enforcement Torch Run in Wichita, Kan., in June 2021.

The LETR began in 1981 in Wichita, Kan., the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics. Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony of local competitions, and into Special Olympics State, Provincial, National, Regional and World Games.

Annually, more than 100,000 dedicated and compassionate law enforcement members carry the “Flame of Hope,” symbolizing courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe, according to LETR.

The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, scheduled for June 5-12, 2022 in Orlando, Florida, will unite more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean during one of the country’s most cherished sporting events. For more information, click HERE.