About the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR)

LETR 50th Anniversary Logo

In 1986, compassion, joy and hope ignited a movement among law enforcement in Wisconsin to spread awareness of individuals with intellectual disabilities. That eternal flame burns with even more vigor today. In Wisconsin, year-round events for LETR include the Final Leg Run, which kicks off the State Summer Games each June; fourteen statewide Polar Plunge® winter fundraisers; Tip-A-Cop® events; Cop on a Rooftop events; motorcycle rides; raffles; Over the Edge events; the World’s Largest Truck Convoy®; and other miscellaneous fundraising events.

By volunteering together for Special Olympics, law enforcement participants champion acceptance and inclusion in their communities. They raise up Special Olympics athletes, helping influence them to be treated as equals. Law enforcement volunteers educate the community about the gifts, talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities and create opportunities to bring the community together.

“I’m excited to go to Abu Dhabi to spread the mission of Special Olympics and the Law Enforcement Torch Run across the United Arab Emirates. Being a member of the Final Leg for the World Games is such an honor for those of us in law enforcement who support Special Olympics through the LETR.” – Officer Bryan Wangnoss


LETR began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas, Police Chief Richard LaMunyon created the Torch Run. He thought the Torch Run would help law enforcement be active in the community and support Special Olympics Kansas. In 1983, Chief LaMunyon presented the program to the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP). They decided to endorse Torch Run and became the “Founding Law Enforcement Organization.” With the IACP’s support, LETR became the movement’s largest public awareness and fundraising group for Special Olympics.


The mission of the Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics Wisconsin is to raise funds for and awareness of the Special Olympics movement. Special Olympics is a program which reaffirms our beliefs that with hope and dedication, we can see achievement and self-worth realized by any individual. It is our belief that persons with intellectual disabilities, by their involvement in Special Olympics, show the community at large there are no limits to human potential or the human spirit.


Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of local competitions. They also carry it into Special Olympics State, Provincial, National, Regional and World Games. There are over 97,000 law enforcement members that carry the “Flame of Hope” annually. The flame symbolizes courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the globe.

Torch Run has grown over the years and now includes many fundraising platforms. These platforms include: Plane Pulls, Polar Plunges, Tip-A-Cops, and more. Since the beginning, LETR has raised over $600 million for Special Olympics programs.

As retired Chief Richard LaMunyon once said, “What started in 1981…as a flicker of hope for Special Olympics has now become a roaring flame of stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.” LETR is changing the future for people with intellectual disabilities. Through the LETR and Special Olympics partnership we are lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion.

Official Law Enforcement Torch Run Website

LETR for SOWI Newsletter

September 2020

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