February 17, 2014
Special Olympics Indiana President/CEO Michael Furnish has announced the appointment of Master Trooper Tommy Walker as the Indiana Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) State Director. M/Trp. Walker is a 23 year veteran of the State Police and is currently assigned to the Commercial Motor Vehicle Division working out of the Versailles Post.
Trooper Walker’s first involvement with Special Olympics began in 1994 when a fellow officer invited him to accompany him on the Law Enforcement Torch Run from Indianapolis to Terre Haute. This run kicked off the Special Olympics Indiana Summer Games and officers greeted over 4,000 Special Olympics Indiana athletes to Hulman Center for opening ceremonies.
In 1999 he was selected to represent Indiana LETR as a runner for the final leg of the Special Olympics World Summer Games in Raleigh, North Carolina and in 2003 the final leg that began in Athens, Greece and finished in Dublin, Ireland. In 2006 he served as a Support Team Member during the LETR final leg leading up to the Special Olympics National Games beginning in Chicago, Illinois and finishing in Ames, Iowa. Walker has also participated in other numerous Special Olympic events including, Tip-A-Cop, polar plunges, airplane pull, motorcycle rides and unified games.
Trooper Walker has personally organized a weight lifting fundraiser, known as the Showdown of the Shields, in Columbus, Indiana since 1994 and will be celebrating the events 20 anniversary this year.
Stephanie Stewart, Manager of Community partnerships (LETR), said “Tommy is a pleasure to work with, a great leader and knows how to show officers what the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Indiana is all about. His dedication and care for Special Olympics over the years is inspiring and contagious, which only continues to help grow the program.”
“The Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) has been a long-time sponsor of all Special Olympics activities in Indiana. The impact of officers working together at both local and state levels brings both tremendous financial support and community awareness to our cause. Tommy Walker fills a vital role starting in 2014 as the new State LETR Director. His long-term commitment to this effort and the respect he’s earned from people throughout our movement makes his the perfect choice,” said Michael Furnish, President/ CEO at Special Olympics.
When asked why he was so committed to Special Olympics, Trooper Walker offered this explanation. “It’s the athletes. They portray a life lesson of being the best you can be and being yourself. They are fun, bold courage’s and exciting!”
Further information on Indiana Special Olympics can be found at www.soindiana.org.