It’s Torch Run Week!

Each summer, law enforcement officials carry the Flame of Hope across the state culminating with the Torch Run Final Leg, and the lighting of the cauldron to officially open the Special Olympics Louisiana State Summer Games in Hammond. This torch relay involves more than 1,500 law enforcement officers and personnel representing more than 200 law enforcement agencies across Louisiana. The 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run has kicked off and is taking place in cities across Louisiana all week long. Look out for it passing through your town on the way to Hammond! Also, check out our Facebook page for the latest pictures!

Get involved!

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Moving in the right direction

R-Word editedLast week, the Louisiana House of Representatives unanimously voted to remove the R-word (retard) from its government documents and legislation. It is now before the Louisiana Senate. Woo Hoo! This is a step in the right direction, we have our fingers crossed that this will get passed as we are only one of six states that still have this word in our laws.

To learn more about the r-word, click here

Calling all LETR to join us in the Big Easy

Special Olympics Louisiana will host the 2014 International Law Enforcement Torch Run Conference for Special Olympics this September. We invite all members of LETR from across the globe to attend and Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Rosa’s Law

We love hearing stories about how one person or one family can make a difference. In this case, one family changed a nation!

Nina Marcellino is the mother of four children, including Rosa, a child with Down syndrome. In 2009, Marcellino learned that Rosa had been labeled retarded at school. Marcellino didn’t allow the R-word in her house, and none of her children described their sister that way. Nina teamed up with other parents and her state delegate to introduce a bill to change the terminology in Maryland state law. However, the movement didn’t stop there, it went all the way tithe White House!

Now known as “Rosa’s Law,” the law removes the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from federal health, education and labor policy and replaces them with people first language “individual with an intellectual disability” and “intellectual disability.”

“Respect, value, and dignity – everyone deserves to be treated this way, including people with intellectual disabilities,” said Dr. Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics. “The President’s signature and the unanimous support of both the House and Senate show that our elected officials understand and embrace this ideal.”

Read more about Rosa’s Law

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This picture was taken from diversity world

Commitment, Pride and Determination

2011 LETR Carl Dabadie

Lt.Carl Dabadie is pictured far left

In 1988, Sergeant Carl Dabadie decided to participate in the Baton Rouge leg of the Louisiana Law Enforcement Torch Run as a member of the Baton Rouge Police Department; little did he know that decision would change his life. Now a Lieutenant with Baton Rouge Police Department, Carl states, “I have been a Police Officer for over 26 years. I am proud to be a police officer and I am even more proud to be a Torch Runner for Special Olympics.”

In a speech he delivered, he remarked, “My involvement with the Torch Run and with Special Olympics has taught me many things. Commitment, seeing the amount of dedication that the athletes put into their training and competition amazes me.” “Pride, Special Olympics Athletes take pride in being a part of Special Olympics. They take pride in accomplishing their goals much as Officers take pride in the job that they do each day. Determination, the spirit of a Special Olympics athlete is like no other. Being a part of Special Olympics boosts their self-esteem and increases their skills. Determination just like Officers have when they put their life on the line for their community each day.”

His remarks were recently recognized in the International Law Enforcement Torch Run Newsletter, The Guardian. Read the entire article here