The Laurel Police Department and the Jones County Sheriffs Department partnered together on Thursday afternoon to participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run's mission is to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics in Mississippi and across the United States.

“As law enforcement, we’re deemed as Guardians of the Flame — the Flame of Hope,” said Randy Muffley, Captain of the Jackson County Sheriff Department. “We here to raise awareness and donations so that the athletes can compete at no cost for them and their families. Every donation we receive goes directly to them.”

Thursday’s gathering on the steps of the Laurel Police Department marked the second straight year the two local departments partnered for the event.

"This is the second year we've taken part [in the torch run]," said Tommy Cox. "We want to bring awareness to the Special Olympics. We're always glad to be a part of a great event.

"We're glad to partner with other agencies in sponsoring this event. It's a great event, and I can't say enough great things about it."

"On behalf of the Jones County Sheriffs Department, we're thankful to everyone for participating in this event," added Chief Deputy Mitch Sumrall. "It's a long tradition for a great cause."

The 2022 State Summer Games of the Special Olympics in Mississippi will take place on May 13-15 at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi.

"If you've even gotten the chance to go to the competition, you'll get a thrill out of it," said Muffley. "Thanks to everyone who came out to raise awareness."