Conroe Police SWAT members participated in The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics as it passed through the city on Thursday. In the past, CPD officers have acted as escorts but this year they ran and carried the torch, also known as the Special Olympics Flame of Hope.
CPD was one of many agencies involved statewide, with each region carrying a torch through multiple cities en route to Arlington, the site of the 2009 games. The Torch Run raises money and awareness for Special Olympics.
Sgt. Jon Buckholtz, head of CPD SWAT, was excited about running despite a recent foot injury that he did not allow to interfere.
“I always wanted to do it, but we weren’t able to,” Buckholtz said.
The sergeant was not the only runner on Thursday who had been dealing with other issues. Five members of the Galveston Police Department participated, which was a few less than usual, according to James Ferguson, Galveston PD SWAT.
Hurricane Ike devastated Galveston Island and left law enforcement to work long hours with little rest, performing tasks far outside their job descriptions without some of the most basic resources. But the officers stayed and fulfilled their obligations to their city. The truck driven on Thursday by GPD officers en route to Conroe for the next leg of the run broke down, with the transmission going out unexpectedly. Showing their true spirit, the officers piled into a vehicle from another agency.
The Conroe leg of the run began on West Davis in front of Home Depot and ended with a circle around the Montgomery County Courthouse. CPD SWAT members stood out among the group because they wore their camouflage pants, black boots and gray t-shirts instead of the athletic gear donned by the other agencies.
As the group rounded the courthouse, loud speakers blared the song “Eye of the Tiger” from a Rocky movie.
The event is the Special Olympics’ largest fundraiser.