Delta police take part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run as it makes its way through Delta. (Photo submitted)

Delta police take part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run as it makes its way through Delta. (Photo submitted)

COLUMN: Special Olympics inspire Delta police

In police chief Dubord’s latest column, he talks about the DPD and Special Olympians’ relationship

By Neil Dubord, Delta Police Department

On Friday, June 8, the Law Enforcement Torch Run will make its way through Delta. The Torch Run is an international law enforcement event that supports athletes in their quest to compete and be successful at the Special Olympics. The Torch Run has raised more than $3 million in British Columbia, and supports over 4,600 athletes throughout the province.

Through the dedication of our staff over the past 20 years, the Delta Police Department has raised over a quarter million dollars to support Special Olympics athletes. And in participating in the Torch Run, we have forged some incredible relationships with local athletes.

Brad is one of those athletes who is particularly special to me. He works at the DPD, and when he arrives, his smile brightens everyone’s day. He pops into my office and we talk about hockey and other sports. He manages to hold down multiple jobs and train for the Special Olympics, where he has an outstanding track record: Brad has medalled in soccer, golf and hockey.

Upon first glance, one would believe that we support the Special Olympics as a way to give back; in reality, we are the ones who feel the greatest sense of reward. Watching these strong-willed, passionate young adults prepare for — and be successful at — the Special Olympics is nothing short of inspirational. The sense of pure joy and gratitude for having the opportunity to compete is a lesson for all of us.

Insp. Debra McLeod has led us through decades of fundraising and has been integral in the success of our local athletes. She represented the DPD and the Law Enforcement Torch Run in Greece, when the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games were held in Athens.

At those games, Stacey Kohler, another one of our local athletes, won bronze in the 3,000 metres and sixth place in the 1,500 metres. With over 7,000 athletes and 21 sports, this was an amazing accomplishment by an amazing person.

McLeod is passing on the torch to our young constables who will carry on the Law Enforcement Torch Run’s legacy. The Torch Run has become embedded in our culture at Delta Police and we will always support our athletes and friends.

On June 8, when the Law Enforcement Torch Run comes through the community, you will see police officers, civilian staff, volunteers and Special Olympics athletes running together. They are not simply running to raise money and awareness. They are running for equality, opportunity and hope.

Give them a honk and a wave, and support the Special Olympics.

Neil Dubord is the Delta Police Department’s chief constable. He joined the DPD on June 29, 2015 after three years as chief of the Metro Vancouver Transit Police and 25 years with the Edmonton Police Service, where he was the Deputy Chief in charge of Community Policing Bureau.