Bainbridge Island police carried a quite a heavy torch as they kicked off the county-wide torch relay for the 2012 Special Olympics.
This year’s relay was also dedicated to Tony Radeulescu, the Washington State Trooper who was fatally shot earlier this year.
Bainbridge police carried the Olympic torch from their headquarters in Winslow, along Highway 305 and passed it to officers with the Suquamish Police Department. By the end of the day it traveled all the way to the end of the county at the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
“There was an outstanding turnout from our men and women in the department,” said Bainbridge Police Commander Sue Shultz. “They did this on their own. They volunteered to do it.”
Shultz began the relay along with local islander Chris Marten, who competes in the Special Olympics and specifically enjoys the shot put.
“Being able to walk up the hill with Chris was fun,” Shultz said.
With the added significance of this year’s relay, there was extra incentive to make it count.
“There was a lot more emotion to this particular run due to the fact it was dedicated to trooper Tony,” Shultz said. “There were some who ran who knew Tony.”
The torch run was an event that Radeulescu had previously participated in, and the dedication added to the emotional weight of the event.
At the end of the day, or at least the end of the island, it was a good morning run for the island police officers for a good cause.
“It was so refreshing to hear the honks of support from our community,” Shultz said. “It was definitely a positive event for our officers to participate in and they all enjoy doing it.”