By Lt. Christene Zoucha, AA/Public Information Officer
Deuel Vocational Institution
For the Ripon Police Department’s first year in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), officers ran 19.8 miles from Ripon to Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, passing the torch to DVI Chief Deputy Warden Kathryn Kesterson. From there, CDCR employees carried the torch on to Tracy.
Over 115 people took part in the torch run including runners, bicyclists and supporters joined in the 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics of Northern California.
CDCR participants (runners and bicyclists) came from DVI, California Health Care Facility (CHCF), Mule Creek State Prison, (MCSP), Northern Transportation Unit, Crisis Response Team members from DVI and CHCF, and Run Fit, a local running club from Modesto, traveled the 5.5 miles from DVI to the Tracy Police Department.
This year DVI had two four-legged participants join the LETR – Nakoma, a 2-year-old Dutch Sheppard and Malinois, and Havok, an 8-month-old Dutch Sheppard. DVI’s Officer Shaw is the dogs’ owner.
Three Tracy PD (TPD) Motor Units lead the procession from DVI to Tracy PD. The three motor units escorted the participants for 5.5 miles through the roads of rural Tracy and over two major overpasses.
Sgt. Sabrina Harris has served as team captain for the DVI LETR for 11 years. She has demonstrated her passion and commitment for this wonderful cause by not only running in the LETR, but by her continued devotion to encourage others to get involved and support the Special Olympics athletes.
Eleven years ago, six employees participated. Today due to Sgt. Harris’ commitment, that number has grown to over 115 participants. This is the third year Run Fit, a local running club from Modesto, which boasts Sgt. Harris as a member, joined the DVI team in raising money and awareness for the Special Olympics of Northern California.
Participants carried the torch 5.5 miles from the DVI entrance to the Tracy Police Department where the torch is handed off to Tracy Police SWAT members who ran run the remaining leg into the Bay Area. This year’s opening ceremonies are Friday, June 24, in Davis.
“This year’s participation in the torch run was excellent with a record number of participants and donations. DVI was excited Ripon Police Department joined the Tracy PD and DVI team this year. Great show of support and commitment from everyone who volunteered and participated for the Special Olympics of Northern California,” said Warden Jerome Price.
This year DVI and TPD joined forces to support the Special Olympics, with their efforts raising $4,500 through the LETR and over $10,000 through DVI 5K Obstacle Challenge and various Tip-A-Cop fund-raisers throughout the year.