OAKLAND -- More than 70 Oakland officers and youngsters from the Police Activities League, led by Interim Chief of Police Sean Whent, ran Tuesday in a nine-mile portion of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run benefiting Special Olympics Northern California.

The 60 police officers and civilian employees were the most ever to participate in the event that benefits one of the department's favorite charities. A dozen PAL members ranging in age from 7 to 15 also ran.

Whent, who has run in the event before, said Special Olympics " is a great cause, a lot of fun and a great experience. We want to give back to the community."

Oakland police took the torch handoff from the Alameda County District Attorneys at 8:45 a.m. at police headquarters for their leg of the run, which went on city streets to the Berkeley-Albany border, where the torch was handed off to Albany police.

It was the 25th year Oakland police have been involved in the torch run and officials said so far they are the number-one law enforcement fundraising agency in Northern California as well as having the most participants. Oakland police have already raised more than $12,000 this year.

This year's Special Olympics Summer Games will be held from June 28 to 30 at UC Davis. Special Olympics provides year-round training in various Olympic type events for thousands of children and adults with intellectual disabilities.


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Donations can still be made at the website www.torchrunsonc.com.