Law Enforcement Torch Run set for Friday
Members of the Cape Coral Police Department are gearing up for Lee County’s annual Law Enforcement Torch Run, set for Friday morning.
About 20 to 25 employees will participate in the run, according to Sgt. Robert Wardrop. Wardrop, who coordinates the CCPD’s involvement each year, said there will be a mix of male and female runners, as well as some who participate every year and a few who are attending as first-timers.
“You usually get a lot of last-minute guys,” he added.
The event, which benefits Special Olympics Florida, is an intra-state relay involving more than 300 city, county, state and federal agencies throughout the 67 counties of Florida. Participation is restricted to law enforcement and first responder agencies, officials from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said.
The local run starts at 8 a.m. at the LCSO headquarters, located at 14750 Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers. The finish line will be at the Big Lots, located at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Pondella Road in North Fort Myers.
Traffic may be slow along northbound U.S. 41 from 8-10 a.m. on the day of the run, officials noted. Traffic deputies will escort runners along the route.
Wardrop did not have a final tally on the CCPD’s participants Friday evening.
“You usually get a lot of last-minute guys,” he said.
The majority of the department’s SWAT Team will be in attendance.
“The SWAT Team has always been a good supporter of these events. They usually show up as a team,” he said, adding that they are led by Detective Carlos Mena.
Wardrop had hoped to sign up 50 participants this year, but he did sign up some new faces and it looks like there will be more runners than last year.
“We try and push the new guys to do it and be a part of the tradition,” he said. “It’s a great cause. It’s a positive event that we can all participate in and have a good time at.”
The Cape agency has been participating in the run for at least 12 years.
“The absolute best best part of this is when we’re running on 41 and the motorists honk at us,” Wardrop said. “It’s the community cheering us on.”
“It’s doing something together and giving back,” he said.
Participants are selling Special Olympics T-shirts and hats as part of the fund-raiser. The T-shirts are $12, or get a T-shirt and hat for $20. To buy T-shirts and hats, contact Wardrop at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are about two dozen T-shirts left for sale. Proceeds benefit Special Olympics.
Monetary donations are also being accepted for the non-profit organization.