Police officers put their feet to the streets for a different kind of patrol yesterday.
City, provincial and military police, RCMP and security officers joined area Special Olympics athletes for the Ontario Law Enforcement Torch Run, from Ottawa police headquarters on Elgin Street to Parliament Hill.
Police across Ontario have adopted the Special Olympics as their cause, said event co-ordinator for the Ottawa Police Constable Sherry Jordan. Yesterday’s run — one of several held across the province — was a fundraiser.
But while raising money is nice, it’s also “as much for awareness as anything,” said Jordan. “We want to get as many people involved as we can for visibility.”
“We have a really close bond with some of the people that take part in the Special Olympics,” said Ottawa Police Inspector Mike Flanagan.
“It’s important to highlight the cause. It’s encouraging to see the numbers grow exponentially each year.”
The run proceeded north on Bank Street to cheers from pedestrians and honking car horns before heading east on Wellington Street and arriving on Parliament Hill.
“It’s important to have the support,” said Christina Campbell, who competed in the Special Olympics World Games in Shanghai last October, taking home a gold medal and four silvers in rhythmic gymnastics.