Coast Guardsmen participate in Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run in Oregon

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NORTH BEND, Ore. — Crewmembers from seven Oregon-based Coast Guard units assisted in running the Special Olympics’ Flame of Hope torch during a weeklong relay that started at the Oregon-California border and ended in Depoe Bay, Monday.

The torch traveled successfully along the coast throughout the area of responsibility of Coast Guard Sector North Bend.

Coast Guardsmen assigned to Coast Guard Stations Chetco River, Coos Bay, Umpqua River, Siuslaw River, Yaquina Bay, Depoe Bay, and Sector North Bend all helped run the torch up the southern Oregon coast. Local police and fire departments supported the Coast Guard runners by providing escorts along the route.

Coast Guardsmen from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River in Florence, Ore., prepare for the start of their leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Florence, July 10, 2014. Participants ran the Flame of Hope torch from the Oregon-California border to Depoe Bay, Ore., to raise awareness for the Special Olympics. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

Coast Guardsmen from Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River in Florence, Ore., prepare for the start of their leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Florence, July 10, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard photo.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run was first coordinated in 1981 by a Wichita, Kansas, police chief. The yearlong event encourages athletes, increases public awareness, and raises funds for Special Olympics. It culminates in intrastate relays that converge at the Special Olympics Summer Games.

The relay has grown to become a global event that all 50 states and more than 30 nations participate in each year. In Oregon, the relay is supported by more than 1,500 law enforcement personnel from federal, military, state, county and local agencies.

“The run was a great activity to share with our crews and the community,” said Chief Petty Officer Ben Snider, Executive Petty Officer of Station Siuslaw River. “We really like to get involved by volunteering in the community, especially in events with other law enforcement agencies. We look forward to participating again next year.”

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