St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office participates in Special Olympics Torch Run

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Agent Brian Canepa takes his turn carrying the torch at this year’s St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held May 18 in Chalmette. With Agent Canepa are, from left: St. Bernard Fire Chief Thomas Stone, Sgt. Brad Nuccio and Sgt. Byron Shoemaker.

St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, along with St. Bernard firefighters, and St. Bernard Parish Special Olympics participants, took part in the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on Friday, May 18, Sheriff James Pohlmann said.    

Sgt. Jessica Gernados, who coordinates the run for the Sheriff’s Office, said several dozen people participated in this year’s event. Participants took turns carrying the “Flame of Hope” for Special Olympics Louisiana through the parish during the run which began around 10 a.m. at the Chalmette Battlefield.

Following the mile-long run along St. Bernard Highway, Jean Lafitte Parkway and Judge Perez Drive, Sheriff Pohlmann said, participants were welcomed outside the St. Bernard Parish Government Complex by a crowd of spectators cheering them on. Runners and Special Olympics participants met near the pavilion on the Dr. Meraux Boulevard side of Sidney Torres Park where they enjoyed food and refreshments.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is an international series of torch relays, run by law enforcement officers leading up to the state or nation’s Special Olympics Summer Games. The event, which has been celebrated for 33 years, brings together more than 2,000 law enforcement officers who take part statewide each year.

The Louisiana State Summer Games will be held May 18 through 21 on the campus of Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Participants in the 2018 St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics gather near the Chalmette Battlefield Monument prior to the run on the morning of May 18. Several dozen runners, including parish Special Olympics participants, St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies and St. Bernard firefighters, took part in this year’s event.

Brynn Plaiscia carries the torch as Special Olympics participants kick off the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics on the morning of May 18 at Chalmette Battlefield.

Col. Chad Clark holds the torch during the start of the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held May 18 in Chalmette. With Col. Clark are, from left: St. Bernard Fire Chief Thomas Stone, Agent Brian Canepa, Lt. Daniel Bostic, Agent Ryan Lopez, Lt. Rickey Jackson, Sgt. Matthew Arcement and Sgt. Brad Nuccio.

Sgt. Matthew Arcement carries the torch at this year’s St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held May 18 in Chalmette. The run started at Chalmette Battlefield and ended near the St. Bernard Parish Government Complex.

St. Bernard Sheriff’s Office Capt. Brian Clark, right, and Capt. Gerald Kimble barbecue some burgers during a celebration in Torres Park following the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held in Chalmette on May 18, 2018.

Lt. Lisa Jackson serves a burger to Jordan Mahler and other participants in the 2018 St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held in Chalmette on May 18.

Tessie Riggio and Brynn Plaiscia share a moment at Torres Park following the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held in Chalmette on May 18.

Lt. Raymond Theriot talks with participants prior to the beginning of the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held May 18.

Brynn Plaiscia, center, with her parents, Agent Michael Plaiscia, left, and Kelli Plaiscia, following the St. Bernard leg of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics held in Chalmette on May 18.