Suncoast law enforcement gears up for the annual Torch Run

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SARASOTA, FL -The 31st Annual Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run will travel through the streets of Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee Counties on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

Beginning at 8:00 a.m., law enforcement, and  local Special Olympic athletes will start the trek at various locations across the suncoast.

Citizens should be aware that traffic delays may occur on U.S. 41 between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., so drivers may want to avoid the area or plan accordingly.

The goal of the Special Olympics is to help persons with different intellectual abilities to participate as productive and respected members of society by offering a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills and talents through sports training and competition, and by increasing the public's awareness of their capabilities and needs.

Each year more than 3,000 law enforcement officers carry the torch on a 1,500 mile relay through more than 60 Florida counties. Anyone interested in contributing to or volunteering with the Special Olympics can call the local office (941) 412-0402 or visit