Officers Participate in Torch Run for Special Olympics

July 3, 2023

Pictured (L to R) Erik St. Germain, Karl Rodriguez-Perez, Frank DeCresenzo.

Officers Erik St. Germain, Karl Rodriguez-Perez, and Lt. Frank DeCrescenzo ran in the New Haven leg of the three-day, 12-leg race to raise awareness for those with intellectual disabilities of all ages. Officers Roberto Arango and Greg Curran were on motorcycle duty escorting the athletes and runners on the Clinton to Fairfield leg of the race.

Assistant Director of Yale Security Tom Madera served as the co-director for this year’s Torch Run event. Madera became involved with Special Olympics in 1995 when the World Games was held in New Haven.

“Our athletes are amazing individuals. For law enforcement to run approximately 500 miles across our state holding the Flame of Hope alongside our athletes is an amazing experience,” Madera said. “When we hold the torch together, we hold it in unity. Being around our athletes makes you appreciate everything we take for granted in life. Our athletes often say that we have made a difference in their lives, but they have made a bigger difference in ours.”

Pictured (L to R) Tom Madera and Olympic athlete.

Since 1986, Connecticut’s Torch Run has grown from a few leg races to the largest statewide grassroots fundraising event. Officers across Connecticut raise approximately $500,000 throughout the year for athletes to participate in athletic and social events throughout the year.

St. Germain said it’s important for him to participate in the Law Enforcement run because he loves what the torch run stands for. Since 2014 he has participated in Tip-A-Cop® and other fundraising events that support the Special Olympics.

“It’s incredibly important to raise awareness and funds for these athletes that train and look forward to this event every year,” St. Germain said. “I also run with the American flag during these events to honor all heroes that have gone before us — police, firefighters, or military — that have provided this community and this nation the ability to run these streets and host these events. I have yet to miss a Torch Run since becoming a police officer, and I don’t intend to change that any time soon!”