Here’s why Middletown officers were running the streets with a torch this morning

Middletown police officer Kim Robinson, in blue shirt, participated in her last Law Enforcement Torch Run this morning in Middletown. Robinson is retiring next year. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

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Middletown police officer Kim Robinson, in blue shirt, participated in her last Law Enforcement Torch Run this morning in Middletown. Robinson is retiring next year. RICK McCRABB/STAFF

Middletown police officer Kim Robinson, who will retire next year, led a group of officers participating in the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The officers left the Middletown Division of Police station at 8 a.m. today and made their way north up Verity Parkway and onto Ohio 73 toward Franklin. The runners were escorted by Middletown police cruisers. A few people lined Verity Parkway and cheered as the officers passed.

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The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when Wichita Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw a need to raise awareness of and funds for Special Olympics. He conceived the idea of the Torch Run as a way to involve local law enforcement with the community and Special Olympics.

Law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of local competitions in a movement known as Guardians of the Flame.

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In Ohio, Torch Run participants run, walk and cycle one of five planned routes covering the state and leading to the Opening Ceremonies of the Ohio Special Olympics Summer Games. The officers pass the torch to a relay of Special Olympics athletes and who light the cauldron to signify the official start of the Games.

More than 26,000 athletes participate in Ohio Special Olympics. Year-round training and competition opportunities are provided in 21 different sports.

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