Lincoln Police partnered with Nebraska Special Olympics for the 2019 Torch Run
Outside the steps of Memorial Stadium, it was the beginning of the 2019 Special Olympics and Lincoln Police Department's torch run on Wednesday.
"It warms their hearts it warms my heart to see law enforcement pick up that flame of hope because their guardians of the flame,” Char Estes the event organizer said.
The Lincoln Police officers carried the Torch of Hope for 3 miles helping to raise awareness for Nebraska Special Olympics, but for some of the runners, like Ben Ricker, running in this event means more than just raising awareness.
"It's going to be some high emotions I have some family members as well on my wife's side that this is going to mean a lot to me to be able to run for them and carry that torch year there might even be some tears there at the end, it means a lot to me,” Ricker with the Lincoln Police Department said.
This event also helps the Lincoln Police Department connect with those with special needs throughout the community, showing them, behind the badge, is just a person who wants to help them.
"Building that trust building that legitimacy those lines of communications to hear that we are there to help are some important because they are a population that can be targeted by individuals who have some kind of criminal intent and we're really trying to elevate that trust that comfort level so when they come forward they know that we're going to take care of their needs,” Chief Jeff Bliemeister of the Lincoln Police Department said.
The run is beneficial on many accounts including spreading the message of equality for all.
"For my kids especially I think it shows them that there's no difference for anybody were all the same bottom line we're all human,” Ricker said.
This is just one of 15 different torch runs that are happening this week all throughout the country for Special Olympics.