The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics will pass through Santa Barbara County on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The torch will stop at Santa Maria City Hall for a brief ceremony at noon Tuesday. The torch will continue toward VAFB (ceremony at 3:15 p.m.) and then to Lompoc (ceremony at 4:35 p.m.). The torch will stop at Buellton for the night.
On Wednesday, the torch will continue south through Santa Barbara (stopping at the SB-CHP office for a ceremony at noon) and then to Ventura County. The torch will arrive at Cal State Long Beach for the Summer Games on June 13.
Officers have been carrying the torch for Special Olympics since 1981. That year, when the Torch Run started, eight officers carried the torch through Wichita, Kan., and raised no money. Last year, more than 85,000 officers around the world carried the Flame of Hope and raised more than $20.5 million. This year, we expect to raise even more.
Our total raised this year for Northern Santa Barbara County Special Olympics is more than $95,000 for the entire county. The money stays local to support athletes, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run does not keep any of the money.
Since they started carrying the torch in 1989, officers have raised more than $895,000,000 for Special Olympics in Santa Barbara County.
Daniel Rios is a sergeant for the Lompoc Police Department.