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Local law enforcement agencies participated in the Special Olympics Torch Run on Tuesday, June 13 to raise money for the Special Olympics Northern California. More than $1,400 had been raised by late Tuesday afternoon.

Hollister Police Department officers, employees and Explorers, along with members of the San Benito County sheriff’s office and the county probation office, ran different legs of the course. The Sheriff’s Office ran the 3.14 miles from Bolado Park to Tres Pinos School, with the Probation Office running from the school to Hollister Fire Station No. 2, a 3.24-mile jaunt. From there, the police team ran the 2.8 miles to the San Benito County Courthouse on Fifth Street and also took the torch from there to the department headquarters on Apollo Way, a 3.1-mile run.

“Special Olympics is something that is near and dear to law enforcement,” Hollister Police Chief David Westrick said. “These folks are special needs, but as soon as you interact with Special Olympics and the athletes you realize that the joy that they possess in their hearts is infectious. When I got the call for Special Olympics, I jumped at it and so did my staff. The community responded as well.”

Westrick said that after he posted the link for donations, more than $1,200 in donations came in, with more donations through the department’s page.

“It’s truly a partnership with the community that makes events like this successful,” he said. “All of HPD’s runners ran the last leg (about 5K) together as team. It was pretty amazing and I could not be prouder of them all. We even had one of our Explorers and non-sworn office staffers out running.”