The LETR Initiative

The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) for Special Olympics is to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement. Each year, the LETR initiative grows bigger and better. (For a quick and inspiring history of the Torch Run, watch this video).

In March 2019, an international team of 130 members — including over 90 law enforcement officers, 10 Special Olympics athletes, and support personnel — will serve as Guardians of the Flame® as they run the Flame of Hope through the cities and towns of the United Arab Emirates. This will be a prelude to the Special Olympics World Summer Games being in Abu Dhabi from 14 March to 21 March  2019. The Final Leg runners will be  selected from around the world to represent their respective LETR chapters and Special Olympics Programs.

As the largest grass-roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics, the LETR raised over $56.2 million in 2016. Since its inception in 1981, it has grown extensively worldwide with over 97,000 law enforcement volunteers spanning 46 countries, and raising more than $674 million for the Special Olympics movement. Fundraising is only part of what the officers involved with the initiative give to the movement. Our athletes say law enforcement officers are truly supportive of the cause – extending to them friendship, acceptance and encouragement.

Special Olympics thanks these officers for their untiring support and salutes them for protecting the world and its citizens.

From a Flicker to a Flame

The Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics (LETR) began in 1981, when Wichita, Kansas (USA) Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to increase awareness of Special Olympics. He also saw it as an ideal way to get local law enforcement personnel involved with the Special Olympics community. The LETR was quickly adopted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), now recognized as the founding organization of the Special Olympics Law enforcement Torch Run®. What started as a flicker, thirty-seven years ago, has grown into a roaring flame of support and stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.

Carrying the Flame of Hope

At its most basic level, the LETR is a running event in which officers and athletes carry the Flame of Hope® to the Opening Ceremony of Special Olympics local competitions, state and provincial Games, and National Summer or Winter Games. In addition, every two years, law enforcement officers from around the world gather to carry the Flame of Hope® in a Final Leg torch run in honor of the Special Olympics World Summer or World Winter Games.

Overall, the LETR initiative encompasses a variety of fundraising vehicles. These include T-shirt and merchandise sales, donations and pledges for runners who participate in the LETR, corporate partnerships, and special events such as Polar Plunge®, Tip-A-Cop®, World’s Largest Truck Convoy ®, Cops on Top®, golf tournaments and other events that have extensive local appeal.

Maryland Enforcement Torch Run (LETR)

The Special Olympics community is grateful to the officers from around the world who raise awareness and funds through the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics.

You can now register for the 2021 Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run!  The Torch Run has historically been all about awareness for Law Enforcement support of Special Olympics Maryland but this year you can raise money for Special Olympics Maryland athletes while raising awareness! Registration is easy and open to any law enforcement agency member, military personnel or civilian that would like to participate.  Follow the below steps to get started:

1. Go to
2. Go to Register Here
3. Go to Join Team
4. Select the Torch Run Leg you would like to join


This is your chance to run with the Special Olympics torch and raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics Maryland athletes! Thank you for your support of Special Olympics Maryland and our Athletes.

If you are not registering to run with the torch you can still: Purchase Your Torch Run Merchandise Here


Special Olympics Maryland

Special Olympics Mission

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.

Special Olympics Philosophy

Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy, and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. These must be adapted only as necessary to meet the needs of those with mental and physical limitations.

Special Olympics believes that consistent training is indispensable to the development of an individual’s sports skills. In addition, competition among those of equal abilities is the most appropriate means of testing these skills, measuring progress, and providing incentives for personal growth.

Special Olympics Maryland’s Vision

The vision of Special Olympics Maryland is to be the leader in lifelong and unified sports programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, empowering athletes to be valued members of their community and respected members of society.

Special Olympics Maryland’s Values

The following six values guide all decisions and actions taken by staff, volunteers and athletes.

  • Community: We attempt to connect our athletes with their local COMMUNITY as much as possible. We use community facilities; we generate local publicity, and we portray the athletes and their families as local heroes. Connections and bridges are formed.
  • Friendships: We encourage FRIENDSHIPS among athletes and families throughout Special Olympics. We also encourage friendships with athletes without disabilities through their commonality of sport. The goal is friendships for life.
  • Integrity: Athletes develop INTEGRITY by doing the “right thing”.
  • Opportunity: All Special Olympics stakeholders are given the OPPORTUNITY to excel.
  • Quality: in all we do.
  • Sportsmanship: We follow the rules of the game by demonstrating good SPORTSMANSHIP and fairness for all.

Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath

“Let me win; but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

For more information about Special Olympics Maryland go to: