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Police officers to run for Special Olympics cause on Tuesday morning
Godfrey runs
Ceres Police Department’s Jeff Godfrey, Chris Perry and Trenton Johnson led the 2023 Law Enforcement Run through the streets of Ceres to benefit the Special Olympics of Northern California. This year’s run takes place at 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, June 25.

Police officers throughout Stanislaus County will be putting their athletic prowess to the test on Tuesday, June 25 when they put on their running shoes and set out for a 3.1-mile course through Ceres to raise money for Special Olympics of Northern California.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is one of the major fundraisers for the charity which benefits special needs children and adults. Ceres will be hosting the run for police personnel for the entire Stanislaus County when they gather at the Ceres Community Center for an introduction before the start of the run. The route has been mapped out to go north on Fourth Street, east on Whitmore Avenue, turning onto northbound Moffet Road, running east down Fowler Avenue, south on Mitchell Road and back to the station.

Ceres Police Sgt. Jeff Godfrey’s passion for Special Olympics is what drives the support given by the department to the charity.

Godfrey expects 50 or so runners from Ceres, Modesto and Turlock police departments, the Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol and Stanislaus County Probation Department.

“Last year we had some people from the DA’s office, we had the DA and one of the chiefs, Wendell Emerson,” said Sgt. Godfrey. “Obviously we have athletes that show up as well.”

Starbucks will serve pastries and coffee to the runners in addition to providing a team to run alongside officers.

Leading the procession starting at 9 a.m. will be the Ceres SWAT truck.

“It’s like an emergency procession where we’ll have vehicles leading us and kind of boxing of us, breaking traffic for us and keeping us safe.”

Godfrey said he has seen the public come out and cheer on the runners.

“That’s the intention of the emergency procession – to draw attention to ourselves and that way it’s a conversation starter and people come outside when they hear the sirens and see what we’re doing and they want to know more about it.”

Officers pay $40 to participate in the run and receive a Special Olympics dry fit runner shirt. The proceeds support Special Olympics Summer Games which takes place at Santa Clara University the weekend of June 29-30. The event will bring in special needs persons from all over Northern California for an Olympic style games.

Godfrey said police have the “really cool job” of spending time with the athletes and are the only ones to get the privilege of present medals to all of the participants at the summer sporting event.

Proceeds help underwrite the costs to put on the event and allow the 26,000 athletes and their families to attend at no cost to them. That includes covering their travel expenses, equipment, uniforms

“All of these athletes get to compete in any event of their choosing for free,” Godfrey stressed.

For the past three years, Ceres Police Department has been the leader in fundraising among the 200 Northern California police agencies. This year CPD has brought in over $21,000.

Besides the Ceres run, 2,600 officers throughout Northern California will be running in their respective communities on staggered dates leading up to the Santa Clara event.

Special Olympics also is host to the USA Olympics and a world event, which will be held in 2025 in Italy.

Special Olympics was founded by the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John Kennedy.

Anyone may donate specifically to the Ceres Police Department’s Special Olympics Torch Run team at