Carrying a torch for Special Olympics athletes

Gretchen Hoffman

Burbank Police Det. Carl Costanzo waved an American flag as he ran

down Glenoaks Boulevard on Wednesday next to Sgt. John Dilibert, who

held a torch high for passing drivers to see.

Dilibert handed the torch to Glendale Police Officer Maribel

Sumner, who set off at a jog with 11 other Glendale officers and

Fergie, a drug-sniffing Labrador.

The handoff at Glenoaks Boulevard and Alameda Avenue joined two

legs in a law enforcement relay across the area to draw attention to

the summer games of the Special Olympics of Southern California. The

games will begin this weekend in Long Beach.

Dilibert, Costanzo and Officer Mike Gibbons paused briefly before

retracing their steps on the 5.2-mile course from Glenoaks Boulevard

and Alameda Avenue back to the Burbank Police Headquarters at 200 N.

Third Street.

"It's all for a good reason," Dilibert said. "That's why I came

out. It's all worth it."

Uniformed officers blocked off traffic as the contingents weaved

through Burbank and Glendale en route to the Glendale (2) Freeway,

where Glendale Police handed the torch to runners from the Los

Angeles Police Department.

The departments have been participating in the relay for more than

a decade, with many of the runners coming back year after year to

show their support for the summer games.

"It's for a good cause and it promotes our athleticism," Costanzo

said. "It's perfect running weather."

With departments across Southern California participating in the

relay -- and many consistently underestimating the time it will take

to carry the torch through their cities -- Glendale and Burbank

officers brace themselves for delays.

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