University Police Captain Chris Tarmann has been selected to represent Wisconsin in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Final Leg for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.
Tarmann said that when you take part in the LETR, you’re actually supporting Special Olympics through raising funds and awareness, hosting events and coaching special olympians.
“There’s just so many things that you can do in Special Olympics when you’re in law enforcement,” Tarmann said. “When you give enough time … people start to recognize the value that you add to the organization.”
The LETR is the largest public awareness medium and grass roots fundraiser for the Special Olympics with chapters in all 50 states, according to the LETR website.
“I think it’s incredible that Chris Tarmann is getting this honor,” UP Chief Kurt Leibold said. “Police departments, especially in the state of Wisconsin, have been closely tied to the Special Olympics — that’s kind of been the project that police officers have always gravitated toward, especially Chris.”
Tarmann has been heavily involved with the Special Olympics for the past 10-11 years, from photographing events, working with the Polar Plunge, participating in many fundraising events and more. He also developed Run with the Cops on campus eight years ago, which has raised over $300,000 in nearly seven years.
Leibold said Tarmann gives so much of his time to these events and to athletes. The fact they’re the ones who reached out and asked him to do this proves they value his time.
“Running the last leg of the event is quite an honor considering all of the officers in America that work on this project,” Leibold said.
Tarmann said that being involved in the Special Olympics is rewarding not only because he gets to show support, but also because he genuinely enjoys attending the events and building relationships in the community.
Tarmann said he is proud of the athletes competing in the Special Olympics.
“Watching them compete, if they get second, third, fifth, eighth place, it doesn’t matter; they’re all giving each other high fives,” Tarmann said. “It’s a great depiction of how we should act every day — we should act as a community, we should act as [if] we’re celebrating other people. Honestly, it’s just this pure fuel tank that fills my ability to do the things I need to do at my job.”
Leibold said that being engaged in the community and attending events like these is incredibly inspiring.
“They make you feel good, and when all the athletes are there and all they care about is that everybody’s doing well and everybody’s having fun, it just brings it all back to what is real in the world and what everybody should be concentrating on,” Leibold said. “It brings everybody back to what we should be about — it grounds us.”
The 2022 Special Olympics USA Games will be held in Orlando, Florida from June 5-12.
“It’s a privilege for me to go and represent such a pure organization that gives me so much joy,” Tarmann said.
For more information about the LETR visit www.letr.org/. For more information about the 2022 Special Olympics visit the official website at www.2022specialolympicsusagames.org/.