Local law enforcement officers start torch run to Troy for the 2018 Alabama Special Olympics

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- As of Thursday morning, nearly a thousand athletes, their coaches, and chaperones are on the way to Troy University for the 2018 Alabama Special Olympics.

But before the opening games can begin Saturday morning, the fiery torch has to get there, and local law enforcement officers are in charge of making sure it arrives on time.

Law enforcement vehicles lined the streets in downtown Huntsville and officers from agencies across Madison County crowded the courthouse square.

No emergency, just a mission.

"All it is is raising awareness for the Special Olympics athletes," said Investigator Cody Locke with Madison County Sheriff's Office.

About 100 officers from across Madison County are taking part in the 2018 Law Enforcement Torch Run.

"We're going to carry the torch and we'll end in Troy, Alabama tomorrow night for the opening ceremonies of the state games," Locke said.

All for the Special Olympics athletes that will be competing this weekend.

"You're doing it for your athletes, in your hometown, in your home county, and when they're out there helping you and cheering you on, it's priceless," Locke said. "It gives you all kinds of encouragement to go and do it again next year."

These officers will travel many miles across the state and take even more steps. But each one is meant to inspire and encourage.

This year was the 50th annual Law Enforcement Torch Run, and the torch is expected to arrive in Troy tomorrow afternoon ahead of the State games starting Saturday morning.