Pekin Police join other officers in carrying the torch for Illinois Special Olympics

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 7:15 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - Local police officers on Friday carried the Torch of Hope leading up to the opening of the Illinois Special Olympics summer games, held again this year in Bloomington-Normal

The Pekin Police Department were among many officers lacing up their running shoes for the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Each year, officers across the country participate in the event in an effort to raise money for Special Olympics.

“The police department is more than just out enforcing the laws and providing safety. It’s trying to build a community in which there’s a relationship between the police and the citizens, and our hopes is that they see us out here in a different light than just traffic stops and arrests. We’re much more involved than that,” said Pekin Officer Seth Ranney.

Public Information Officer Billie Engles followed with her hopes that those who take part in the run can help to inspire those in the community to give to a good cause. “

Give back, do what you can. We enjoy doing this. We enjoy raising the money for these athletes, and it’s a good feeling to get out there and do something for the community,” said Billie Engles, the Pekin Police public information officer.

Illinois State University has been the state summer games’ primary host since 1977. One of the highlights is a Special Olympics Victory Dance held Saturday night in Uptown Normal.