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Laguna and Newport police help raise the torch for Special Olympics

Laguna and Newport police help raise the torch for Special Olympics
Laguna Beach police officers and lifeguards run up Coast Highway past Crystal Cove on Thursday in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Southern California. Newport Beach police later carried the torch to Mariners Park. (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Local public safety employees blazed a trail up Coast Highway on Thursday morning in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run to raise money for Special Olympics Southern California.

About 10 Laguna Beach police officers, along with volunteers from the fire and marine safety departments, began at the Laguna Beach Police Department, carrying the Special Olympics torch more than five miles up the highway. About 25 sworn and civilian Newport Beach police employees then took the torch to the end of the run at Mariners Park.

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Laguna Beach police have raised $1,815, the second-most in Orange County, according to the Law Enforcement Torch Run website.

Laguna Beach police officer Jeremiah Kennedy greets Rocco Keller, 5, during the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Southern California on Thursday.
Laguna Beach police officer Jeremiah Kennedy greets Rocco Keller, 5, during the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Southern California on Thursday. (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Hundreds of officers from local, county, state, federal and military agencies are carrying the “Flame of Hope” through nearly 200 Southern California communities in May and June, according to the Special Olympics Southern California website. The series of Torch Runs will end at the Summer Games Opening Ceremony at Cal State Long Beach.

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The Summer Games on June 8 and 9 will feature more than 1,100 athletes competing in track and field, basketball, bocce, flag football and swimming.

Laguna Beach police officers and lifeguards turn onto Forest Avenue in Laguna as they begin their portion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Southern California on Thursday morning.
Laguna Beach police officers and lifeguards turn onto Forest Avenue in Laguna as they begin their portion of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Southern California on Thursday morning. (Don Leach / Staff Photographer)
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