Special Olympic athletes take part in 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run

Carrying the torch for Special Olympics

40 Special Olympics athletes joined law enforcement from all different agencies for the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run in downtown Jacksonville.

In total 300 participants made up of law enforcement and athletes took off running down East Bay Street,  including Sheriff Mike Williams who carried the torch. The 1 mile run and 5K ended at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds.

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This year was Jimmy Fricke first year running in the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

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“We have a Nike App on our phone which we downloaded and we clock ourselves to see how fast we can run so it prepares us,” said Fricke.

Fricke says he’s been part of the Special Olympics for 15 years.

“We do a lot of sports, I do soccer, flag football and I’m a coach too,” said Fricke.

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Lakesha Burton is with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and she works with special needs children.  Burton says for her the run is personal.

“I have a twin sister that passed away a year ago she was special needs today so today I just see an opportunity to celebrate her and celebrate our youth and really encourage them to full-fill their dreams,” said Burton.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office started fundraising in February selling merchandise for the Special Olympics to help fund their travel expenses, uniforms, equipment and more.

This year they’ve been able to raise just over $7,000.

Fricke tells Action News Jax he couldn’t be more grateful for their help.

“Our police officers are big to our community and we can’t thank them enough you know for what they’ve done,” he said.

The torch will be passed on to law enforcement in Liberty and Hamilton counties who will run their own torch runs on Monday.