The benefit is an annual event that raises funds for Special Olympics Florida.
The annual Law Enforcement Torch Run was canceled because of COVID-19, but that didn’t stop the Oakland Police Department from participating virtually and still raising more than $2,500 in donations for Special Olympics Florida.
Lt. Angela Campbell led the team, which came in second place behind Fort Lauderdale out of the 23 agencies that participated around the state. This is Oakland’s first year competing.
To bring in the $2,537 in funds, the department held a series of fundraisers. Police personnel participated in a Tip-A-Cop program at DG Doughnuts, where they interacted with customers while soliciting donations on three separate occasions. Cpl. Jason Hayes and Officer Anthony Castro served up the tasty doughnuts during the Tip-A-Cop events as well.
Other fundraisers included social media requests for donations and a casual day at the Oakland Avenue Charter School in which students could pay $1 and not wear their uniforms to school.
“More than 58,000 unified partners and athletes with intellectual disabilities receive health exams and compete in year-round sports competitions at no cost to them or their families. By helping the police department to raise funds, even more athletes will get to experience the joy of sports through the programs of Special Olympics Florida,” Campbell said.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run has been held in Florida since 1984 and has included departments throughout the state. Agencies annually act as Guardians of the Flame as they carry the Flame of Hope through each county. The final leg culminates during the opening ceremonies of the state’s Summer Games.
Campbell said the Oakland Police Department already is planning on participating in the next event.