Local officers raise awareness for the Special Olympics

Today, law enforcement in Jackson County started the morning by running for a good cause. Moss Point, Pascagoula, Gautier, and Ocean Springs police officers raised awareness for the Special Olympics through the 2018 Torch Run.

Since Monday, officers have been running with the torch across the state, raising awareness for the 2018 Special Olympics Mississippi Summer Games that return to Keesler Air Force Base today through Sunday. Captain Randy Muffley said, “It’s been going on for years. I’ve been participating with it probably the last ten years. It’s a lot of fun. It brings us together for a good cause.”

The torch run started in Kansas back in 1981 and has now spread worldwide becoming the largest fundraising movement for the Special Olympics. State Torch Run Director Chris De Back tells News 25 the state raises from 50,000 to 100,000 dollars every year for the cause. “We also sell t-shirts, do fundraisers, just to raise money so they can compete at no cost to them.”

The four Jackson County agencies that ran with the torch make up just a small fraction of the 81 agencies taking part in 32 runs throughout the state of Mississippi. Officers who ran in this year’s torch run ran about 12 miles across Jackson County. Katie Mounie with the Pascagoula Police Department said,“I love the Special Olympics. I volunteer and stuff. I love inclusion and making sure all the kids can get involved.”

Over 650 law enforcement officers throughout the state dedicate their time once a year for the Special Olympics. Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley said, “They’re volunteering to run, take their time, nothing is paid through the department. It’s all volunteers. They buy shirts to support the cause and organization.”

2018 marks 50 years since the Special Olympics was founded and began changing attitudes about the talents of people with intellectual disabilities.

Categories: Featured, Jackson County, Local News, News

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