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Police Torch Run Supports Special Olympics

Police officers from around Greater Binghamton laced up their running shoes to help out the Special Olympics.
Police officers from around Greater Binghamton laced up their running shoes to help out the Special Olympics.

The law enforcement community has been involved with the organization since 1981.

This afternoon, a group of about 40 officers ran one mile from Green Field near Toys-R-Us to the Johnson City Police station.

This leg of the torch run was dedicated to Johnson City Police Officer David Smith and New York State Trooper Christopher Skinner who were both killed in the line of duty this year.
State Police Major Donald Faughnan says the officers enjoy helping support the organization.

"All you have to do is look at some of the Special Olympians and it really melts your heart. I think that is why law enforcement has that special connection with these young athletes," said Faughnan.

Special Olympics is provided free of charge to kids who are involved.

Olympian Julian Paugh, 18, carried the torch during today's run.

He has been involved with Special Olympics for seven years and competes in a variety of activities including track and softball.

"It feels amazing to be part of such a good organization with so many caring people and my team, which we have so many good teammates, we call each other family and we're like brothers," said Paugh.

"Ultimately the reason why we do this is to build awareness for Special Olympics. We really need the community to understand the number of people that are involved. We have over 30,000 volunteers and that wouldn't happen without community awareness," said director of development Cassandra Rucker.

One of the ways officers raise money is by buying Special Olympics running shirts from the organization.
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