Seventeen years ago, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, together with other local law enforcement agencies, formed Kitsap Officers Supporting Special Olympics. Today, under the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Campaign organization, local law enforcement officers, executive staffs and others have arranged their schedules to join in support of Special Olympics Washington.
On Thursday, June 1, runners will carry the Special Olympics Torch, known as the “Flame of Hope,” during a running-and-boating relay, throughout Kitsap County and a portion of the Key Peninsula and across the Tacoma Narrows.
This year’s LETR is scheduled to coincide with the start of the 2017 Special Olympics
Washington Spring Games, taking place at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, starting at 7 p.m. Friday, June 2, and continuing through Sunday, June 4.
Additional athletic venues for the games include facilities at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Tacoma and at the Weyerhauser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
“I am pleased to join with the county’s law enforcement agency chiefs, deputies, police officers, troopers, special agents, South Kitsap High School runners, law enforcement family members and volunteers in supporting this extremely important effort,” said Sheriff Gary Simpson. “While there are a large number of outstanding causes that are supported by law enforcement, Special Olympics has always held an extra-special place in our endeavors toward community involvement. The joy, purpose and sense of accomplishment demonstrated by these special athletes serve as an example for all of us.”
Agencies and personnel participating in the local Law Enforcement Torch Run include Bainbridge Island Police Department, Bremerton Police Department, Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Naval Criminal Investigative Service Northwest Field Office, Port Orchard Police Department, Poulsbo Police Department, Suquamish Police Department, Washington State Patrol District 8 and Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.
Additionally, county employees outside of law enforcement, South Kitsap High School runners and other interested civilians are adding their “legs” to the torch run by joining in on the relay.
Special Olympics was started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968 as a way to provide people with intellectual disabilities a place to play and feel included. Today, her vision has become a global movement.
Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics is able to remove barriers and stigmas that people with intellectual disabilities face and to share with the community the gifts and talents they possess.
Special Olympics Washington provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sporting events for children and adult athletes, 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 Olympic athletes and the community.
More than 7,000 athletes compete in Special Olympics Washington; some 4.7 million athletes compete in Special Olympics programs in more than 169 countries.
2017 Bainbridge Island to Tacoma Narrows Law Enforcement Torch Run Schedule
(all times approximate)
- 7:00 a.m. — Bainbridge Island police initiate the Law Enforcement Torch Run from their office at 652 Winslow Way E and proceed northbound on State Highway 305 NE across the island and the Agate Pass Bridge onto the Port Madison Reservation.
- 8:10 a.m. — Bainbridge Island police hand the torch to Suquamish police at Chiquiti Fireworks, 19559 Suquamish Way NE. Suquamish police run the torch northbound into the Poulsbo at NE Hostmark Street and State Highway 305 and pass the torch to Poulsbo police.
- 9:10 a.m. — Poulsbo police head westbound on Hostmark Street, down to Front Street NE and continue on NW Lindvig Way to Viking Avenue NW. They’ll turn left on Viking Avenue and continue southbound for approximately 1/2 mile.
- 9:30 a.m. — Poulsbo police hand off the torch to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at the Food Mart / Envy Bar & Grill (previously the Mucky Duck), located at 19559 Viking Avenue. NCIS continues southbound on Viking Avenue to Silverdale Way NW and into Silverdale. NCIS runs the torch to the rear parking lot of Haselwood YMCA, 3909 NW Randall Way, next to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office Silverdale precinct.
- 10:45 a.m. — KCSO receives the torch at the Haselwood YMCA parking lot and runs Silverdale Way to NW Bucklin Hill Road, then eastbound to NW Waaga Way / State Highway 303. They continue southbound until reaching Fairgrounds Plaza, 1554 NE Fairgrounds Road (intersection of Fairgrounds Road & State Highway 303).
- 11:35 a.m. — KCSO hands-off the torch to runners from the Kitsap County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. They run the torch southbound on State Highway 303 to the Chevron station at 4351 Wheaton Way (intersection of NE Riddell Road & Wheaton Way).
- 11:55 a.m. — Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will pass the torch to Bremerton police, who will proceed southbound on Wheaton Way / Warren Avenue to Burwell Street, then eastbound to the Bremerton Marina.
- 12:20 p.m. — Bremerton police arrive at Bremerton Marina with the torch.
- 12:25 p.m. — Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan or his designee will hand the torch to Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson or his designee.
- 12:35 p.m. — KCSO SAFE boat (and torch) departs Bremerton Marina underway for the Port Orchard Marina.
- 12:45 p.m. — Torch arrives at Port Orchard Marina. South Kitsap High School runners and Port Orchard police take custody.
- 12:50 p.m. — The torch is carried by Port Orchard police together with SK High School runners head west along Bay Street to Port Orchard Blvd., then southbound to Tremont Street and westbound to Pottery Avenue. At this intersection runners turn southbound and continue on Pottery Avenue / Sidney Road SW to the intersection with SW Sedgwick Road.
- 2:00 p.m. — In the Albertsons Grocery Store parking lot, at Sidney & Sedgwick Roads, runners will turn over the torch to Washington State Patrol. WSP will carry the torch southbound on Sidney Road to SW Lider Road, then eastbound on Lider Road to Bethel-Burley Road SE, then southbound to the Kitsap — Pierce County line.
- 3:30 p.m. — WSP will meet runners from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department at the Cenex located 15824 66th Avenue NW, Gig Harbor, and hand off the torch to them.
Pierce County SD will carry the torch southbound through Gig Harbor and over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.Information from the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office