SAN DIEGO — Several San Diego area law enforcement officers are running through the streets of San Diego. They are participating in an annual event to raise money and support for the Special Olympics.

The Chula Vista Police Department has served as the Law Enforcement Torch Run kick-off agency for 16 years.

Before lacing up their tennis shoes and hitting the streets, officers from Chula Vista Police, the California Highway Patrol and agents with the Border Patrol lit what they call the “Flame of Hope” in a special ceremony.

The annual event supports the Special Olympics of Southern California.

It involves hundreds of law enforcement officials who help to carry the torch through three counties and 65 Southern California communities.

“It’s really is special to me, “ said Chula Vista Police Sgt. Alicia McLaughlin. “I’ve been running it for a few years. I like to see not only the Chula Vista Police Department, but all the agencies in San Diego County come together and support the Special Olympics.

Local officers and agents who are  running will hand the torch off to Marines at Camp Pendleton Wednesday morning.”