TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Service members from the 60th Security Forces Squadron participated June 23 in the 2016 Solano County Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, beginning at the Main Gate Visitor Control Center of Travis Air Force Base, California.
Staff Sgt. Steven Sawyer, 60th SFS police services NCO in charge and event participant, said the service members would receive the torch from the Fairfield Police Department, run along Travis Avenue to Burgan Boulevard and then to the North Gate.
From there, State Prison Guards took the torch next, helping it continue on its journey to the Special Olympic opening ceremony at the University of California, Davis.
The torch run is an annual event designed to bring local law enforcement together to support Special Olympics and the athletes who participate in the Northern California Special Olympics Summer Games scheduled for 7 p.m. June 24 at the UC Davis campus.
“To my understanding, the last time security forces at Travis were involved (in this event) was in 1998 and it was my goal to bring it back,” said Sawyer. “I have a child with special needs and the Travis community has several families who also have children with special needs and I want to support my son and all of the families here.”
The passing of the Special Olympics torch, known as “the Flame of Hope,” began in Benicia at approximately 8 a.m. and was scheduled to reach its final destination at the Dixon Police Department at 4:30 p.m.
“Any opportunity for me to help raise awareness or support for organizations or events such as the Special Olympics makes me feel good and instills in me a sense of pride and an attitude of servitude,” said Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Wheeler, 60th SFS operations superintendent. “What better way to show people you care than to get involved in something as important as this?”
Law enforcement personnel from the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, Benicia Police Department, Vallejo Police Department, Suisun City Police Department, Fairfield Police Department, Solano County Probation, Cal Maritime Police Department, California Highway Patrol, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California Medical Facility, California National Guard, Travis Air Force Base Security Forces Squadron, Vacaville Police Department and Dixon Police Department, participated in the torch run.
In addition, Special Olympics athletes ran some of the legs of the race as well as participated each time the torch was passed.
“Supporting the Special Olympics by participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run is important to the mission because we are building partnerships with our local community,” said Wheeler. “Whenever we coordinate and participate with the Fairfield, Vacaville, Suisun and Dixon communities, it solidifies our working relationships and specifically, for the 60th Security Forces Squadron, improves the law enforcement relationship we have with our local Police Departments.