Guardians of the Flame

Also part of the Flame of Hope’s proud history is the Law Enforcement Torch RunĀ® for Special Olympics.

The LETR started in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics. The Law Enforcement Torch Run was quickly endorsed by Special Olympics and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), recognized as the founding Law Enforcement Organization of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

Today, nearly 100,000 law enforcement members in all 50 U.S. States, 12 Canadian provinces/territories, and 48 other countries contribute to LETR efforts annually as Guardians of the Flame, ensuring the delivery of the Special Olympics Flame of Hope to the Opening Ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions, state/provincial Games, and national/regional Games and World Games.

Since then, the Law Enforcement Torch Run has raised more than a half-billion dollars (US $500 million) for Special Olympics programs.

In the words of Richard LaMunyon, “What started in Kansas as a flicker of hope for Special Olympics has now become a roaring flame of stability for Special Olympics athletes worldwide.”

LETR is changing attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities and lighting the way for acceptance and inclusion of our athletes on and off the playing field.

Visit to find out more about the Law Enforcement Torch Run.