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UCPD carries a torch for charity

UC Riverside Police Carry A Torch for Charity

The campus police department participation in the torch run could slow traffic for about an hour.

(June 2, 2011)

UCPD officers take part in the 2010 Special Olympics Southern California Torch Run.Enlarge

UCPD officers take part in the 2010 Special Olympics Southern California Torch Run.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- The UC Riverside Police Department is alerting local commuters that traffic along West Campus might get a little slow between 8 and 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7.

But it’s for a good cause, said Michael Andert, a UCR police officer in the crime prevention unit. He and 10 other UCR officers will get a police escort of their own when they run three miles as they take part in one leg of the Special Olympics Southern California Torch Run.

UCPD has taken part in the torch run for the past seven years, said Andert.
The officers will pick up the torch from a representative of the California Highway Patrol at the campus entrance at University Avenue and West Campus Drive. They will run past Hinderaker Hall, turn right on Canyon Crest Drive, go under the freeway and continue to the corner of Central Avenue, where they will pass the torch on to representatives of the FBI.

Wichita, Kansas Police Department developed the first run in 1981 as a way to become more involved in their local Special Olympics. That first torch run involved six officers and they raised no money. Thirty years later, the run has become the largest grassroots fund raising event for the Special Olympics with more than100 separate runs in over 35 countries. In 2009, more than 100 torch runs took place in more than 35 countries. These runs raised more than $34 million to support community-based sport programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

“Our officers take a lot of pride taking part in this event,” said Andert. “It’s all about working together with other law enforcement agencies to promote a very good cause.”

This year’s Southern California Special Olympics torch run, features law enforcement and military personnel from 300 agencies carrying torches 1,500 miles on three separate paths. The final destination is Cal State University Long Beach; where the torches come together to officially light the flame that begins the 2011 Special Olympics Summer Games.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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