Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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May 9, 2014

PVPD to carry ‘special’ torch — For the Pauls Valley Police Department there’s no one cause they rally behind more than the Special Olympics.

Much of that has been through its annual efforts fundraising for Polar Plunge or cheering on participants in area competitions. However, it was this week that Chief Mitch McGill announced they’d be adding to those efforts by helping carry the torch that kicks off the upcoming state games.

“As law enforcement we are the keepers of the flame for Special Olympics,” said McGill. “That’s our job.”

It will all take place Tuesday, May 13, as a journey that started at the Red River portion of the state line makes the seat of Garvin County a part of the action, according to McGill.

PV officers will meet one section of the torch bearers down in Davis and will carry it into Pauls Valley where he invites the community to come out in support.

McGill hopes to make a parade out of the stretch here starting at the Santa Fe Depot at 11 a.m.

After that they will, along with athletes of the games, march along Paul Street, before heading north again to where they will hand it off in Purcell.

Then the torch will go to places like Norman, the state Capitol and eventually the opening ceremony at the site of the games in Stillwater on Wednesday.

“Basically we’re running it from Texas to the state games in Stillwater,” said McGill.

“It’s been many years since it came through Pauls Valley. It’s the first time for me to coordinate something like this.”

It will amount to about 42 total miles for the jog, which will be done in a relay system where officers will take turns and rest in vehicles when it’s not their turn, said McGill. They will also be joining forces with the entities along the lines of Highway Patrol, the National Park Service and Davis Police Department.

Their participation all falls under the Law Enforcement Torch Run organization, which finalized the route for the event about a month ago.

“There will be a law enforcement officer running the torch the whole time,” said McGill. “Ever since I’ve been chief we’ve been a part of raising money for Special Olympics.”

The biggest thing McGill wants to point out about this honor is that it is all to raise awareness for the kids who get a chance to compete. While some departments use this as a fundraiser, the PV Police will not and keep that to Polar Plunge.

“Obviously we want to get the word out there that we want to give these kids hope and the opportunity to compete in athletic events,” said McGill, noting how he plans to be at the opening ceremony when they start that evening at 7 p.m.

“It’s the least I can do to run a mile or two to support them.”

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