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Sgt. Jeff Letcher, left, and Cpl. Rigo Chavez, right, accept the Special Olympics torches. (Courtesy Photo)

Area law enforcement agencies converged in the Airplane Park May 6 for the annual passing of the torch in the New Mexico Special Olympics Torch Run.

Departments from Eddy and Lea counties carried the torch from Carlsbad to Artesia, where it was handed off to Cpl. Rigo Chavez and Sgt. Jeff Letcher of the Artesia Police Department.

Following a brief ceremony, the pair ran the torch west through the city before handing it off to law enforcement from Otero County.

The torch is still continuing its trek to Albuquerque, where it will arrive for opening ceremonies of the N.M. Special Olympics State Games at 7 p.m. May 19 at the Great Friends of UNM Track and Field Complex.

Special Olympics athletes from the Lea County Legends and Pecos Valley were on hand at the exchange ceremony to encourage the torch runners.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a community-building organization that promotes and empowers New Mexico law enforcement agencies to raise awareness and funds year-round for Special Olympics New Mexico, while providing opportunities, encouragement and hope to SONM athletes and families.