ROCHELLE — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many area police agencies have canceled their Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois in the past two years.
The Rochelle Police Department has not, and conducted its run Wednesday on Lincoln Highway.
“It brings the team together,” RPD Communications Supervisor Luisa Nambo said. “And it's something that brings awareness to what the Special Olympics is about and kids with disabilities and letting them still have those opportunities. That's why it's important for us to make sure we're still raising money for them."
About half the department made it out for Wednesday’s run. Some were unable to make it due to patrol or scheduling conflicts. Nambo called it a “really good” turnout and said the number of participants hasn’t wavered in recent years.
When other area departments were involved, Rochelle’s leg of the torch run stretched from Flagg Road to Illinois Route 251 near the Rochelle airport. RPD has been doing the run since the early 1990s.
"It's important for the department to make sure people know it's still happening and that there's still a need,” Nambo said. “As well as the fundraising part of it. It's important to give back to our community. We like that the money stays in Illinois."