Greenville Police Department participates in Torch

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Greenville Police Department held its Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics of North Carolina, early Saturday morning.

First responders and their families ran from the East Zone Substation on East 10th Street to GPD Headquarters in Uptown Greenville.

The run brings law enforcement and the community together to raise awareness and funds for people with special needs. Jonathan Willis is an avid runner and North Carolina Special Olympian. He said he enjoyed the run.

“It was an honor to run with local law enforcement,” Willis said.

Willis ran the race alongside his friend, Laura Owens. She said she had a special connection to the event.

“It was awesome, my brother is a local law enforcement officer here in Greenville, so it was very special for me to be able to run with him and all the officers in the area and our Special Olympians,” Owens said.

Different agencies from all over the area participated, including ECU Health Police.

“To me, it really means just connecting with the community at a different level because there are a lot of people that don’t get to experience a run or have the ability to do that,” said ECU Officer Eric Trinidad.

The event was coordinated by first-year patrol officer Brittany Splant. She said her passion was serving the special needs community and said it had always been a priority for her. She’s participated in torch runs previously and knew she had to bring it back to Greenville.

“They come in and they’re so happy and cheerful, and they’re ecstatic to be out there,” Splant said. “I’ve run races with them, I was able to be legs for someone that can’t be legs, but they’re inspiration, their stories are really inspiring so it’s been something that’s really close to my heart for years.”

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