Officers lace up for Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

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YONKERS -

Police officers across Westchester County laced up their running shoes for a good cause Thursday.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics started on Riverdale Avenue near the Yonkers Police 3rd Precinct and ended in Peekskill.

Officers and Special Olympics athletes run across the state carrying what's called the Torch of Hope for the run. Every time a group of runners crosses into a different city, village or town, they pass the torch and officers from that jurisdiction take over. That torch will eventually be used to light the cauldron at the New York Special Olympics games next month.

This is a huge fundraiser for the Special Olympics. Six thousand police officers from close to 500 agencies take part in the 56-leg relay. The money raised goes to help athletes pay for their participation in the games.

"All their travel expenses, uniforms, and coaching, equipment comes from donations," says Yonkers Police Sgt. David Barca.

This year's New York games will be held in Dutchess County in June.

There is a sense of pride that each year the Hudson Valley leg of the run begins in Yonkers. "That's what Yonkers is all about, tradition, family…having an event like this where we're taking care of our kids," says Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.

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