Colonel David M. Rohrer Chief of Police Fairfax County Police Department: A Message from the 2011 Torch Run Chair

Athens Awaits for Hanover Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Carter

Scott CarterCongratulations to Lt. Scott Carter of the Hanover Sheriff’s Office (pictured to the left, in the middle), the Virginia’s Law Enforcement Torch Run® Final Leg Runner for the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, Greece. This summer, the Final Leg will travel to every corner of Greece, as well as to Cyprus, Egypt and Turkey promoting ability, acceptance and inclusion. Lt. Carter’s three-week journey begins June 9 in Athens with the Flame Lighting Ceremony and covers scores of cities, towns and communities on the way to the World Games Opening Ceremonies, June 25.

 

Special Olympics Virginia also will send 9 athletes to the birthplace of the Olympics for this year’s Games. They’ll join more than 7,500 Special Olympics athletes from 185 nations, 2,500 coaches and 25,000 volunteers for the world’s largest sporting event of 2011. The Games run from June 25 through July 4.

 

Lt. Carter has been employed with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office for 24 years, and has participated in the Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run for the past 23 years. He has served as the Sheriff’s Office liaison for 13 years and as liaison to the Region Director several times. A member of the Virginia Torch Run Executive Council, Lt. Carter was given the Meritorious Award for enhancing the image of the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office within the Law Enforcement community, the County of Hanover and the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2005. In 2010, he was inducted into the Virginia Law Enforcement Torch Run Hall of Fame.

 

The 2011 World Games Final Leg promises to be another opportunity to use the Flame of Hope to spread the wonderful message of Special Olympics, to connect with athletes and to the further demonstrate the incredible passion and devotion that law enforcement has for Special Olympics.

I’ve been a police officer with the Fairfax County Police Department for 30 years, the last six as Chief of Police. I’m proud to serve alongside so many dedicated men and women, not only in Fairfax County but across the Commonwealth of Virginia, who are devoted to protecting and serving their communities.

I’ve run in the Law Enforcement Torch Run every year since beginning as a SWAT officer in the mid-1980s and I’ve served as a regional director for the past few years. I’m now honored to serve as the State Director of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. More importantly, I’ve been privileged to meet some of the incredible Special Olympics athletes – and learn from them.

Special Olympics is about respect, dignity, unity, self-esteem, empowerment and inclusion. And through the universal language of sports, Special Olympics has demonstrated that people with intellectual disabilities can and will succeed if only given the opportunity – and opportunity is all the athletes desire. The athletes’ oath, which we should all embrace, best states their ideal:

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

When you see Special Olympics athletes in action, their passion and commitment, their joy in competition, and their pride in their accomplishment and in seeing within themselves their potential, are all clearly evident. Also evident within the athletes is the self-realization that respect and inclusion bring – a feeling we all desire and deserve. And perhaps, if we all looked hard and worked toward a common goal, we can envision a world in which all persons are respected and treated with dignity.

I’m proud of law enforcement, and the many wonderful sponsors and volunteers, for supporting and embracing Special Olympics as a unique opportunity to make a difference and give back to our communities. The signature event, the Torch Run, is a highlight of the year as officers and athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” along several routes. But, the Law Enforcement Torch Run program is much more than just the run; it encompasses a variety of other fundraising events throughout the year, including T-shirt sales, donations or pledges for runners, corporate donations, and special events such as Polar Plunge, Plane Pull, rappelling events and golf tournaments.

And the funds raised are only part of how we can all help. As members and leaders within our communities we have the opportunity and responsibility to serve as ambassadors to help raise awareness for a wonderful cause and to help others learn to be tolerant, accepting, inclusive and respectful of all. Your support of Special Olympics does make a difference – you do not have to believe me, just watch the athletes or speak with one of them or their families.

Thank you for caring, and please join us in supporting Special Olympics, and the exceptional athletes and their families.

Colonel David M. Rohrer

Chief of Police

Fairfax County Police Department

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