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Peace officer students participate in Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

By   Erin Wood
06/09/2017

Lake Region State College Peace Officer Training program participated in the North Dakota Law Enforcement Torch Run to kick off the Special Olympics June 8.

Every summer, hundreds of Special Olympics athletes from across North Dakota descend on Fargo to go for the gold at the State Summer Games. These athletes compete like everyone else – they celebrate their wins and are disappointed in a loss – but as the athlete oath states, they are always BRAVE in the attempt. Unfortunately, not all athletes have families that are able to support them during competitions.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics. Known as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the Flame of Hope into the Opening Ceremony of local competitions and Special Olympics state games. 

The Peace Officer Training Program is a one-semester basic police academy that results in license eligibility for program graduates. Unlike traditional college criminal justice programs, graduates are immediately hirable by law enforcement agencies as the students have completed all necessary training to obtain a peace officer license in North Dakota. 

Academies run in Fargo and Grand Forks for the summer. A fall academy will begin the end of August in Devils Lake and Bismarck.

Lake Region State College began training police officers in 1987. Since that time, the college has produced more than 1,400 license-eligible graduates that have been hired by 116 different North Dakota law enforcement agencies.  Instructors for the program included more than 40 law enforcement professionals from 16 law enforcement agencies, including members of police departments, sheriff’s departments, the N.D. Highway Patrol, the N.D. Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the college’s faculty.