North Country police carry torch for Special Olympics

Plattsburgh, NY — Law enforcement agencies across the North Country took to the streets on Friday morning to participate in the Torch Run to raise awareness and funds for the Special Olympics.

The run started at CV-Tech on Military Turnpike and went all the way to Plattsburgh City Hall. Numerous agencies participated including New York State Police Troop B, Plattsburgh City Police, corrections officers, border patrol agents and more.

“The athletes love it because it’s kind of like the opening ceremony for the Olympics with carrying the torch and all that and it’s a wonderful showcase,” said Mark Brannigan, who coaches several Special Olympics sports.

The run also served as a memorial run to State Trooper Todd Claremont, who died unexpectedly this past January and was a big part of this annual event.

“I miss him a lot,” said Major Ruben Oliver. “He was a fitness freak, he liked physical fitness, he’d be here today with us, and he was with us for all the previous years that we’ve had the torch run.”

Assemblyman Billy Jones also attends the event every year and had the following message for law enforcement. “If you ever want inspiration for what you’re doing, just spend some time with these great athletes we have here, the special Olympians. That’s what we’re here for and thank you again for everything that you do.”

Special Olympic events run year-round including bowling, bocce ball, and golf. The golf team just qualified to compete in the statewide tournament in October.

Funds raised from the event will go to equipment, transportation, and other expenses needed for the athletes to compete in Special Olympic events.

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