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Special Olympics athletes find fans in Fayetteville Police Department

When Captain Robert Spatorico took over the Fayetteville Police Department’s NC Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraising efforts, he had one goal in mind.

Live up to the legacy of Sgt. William “Dink” Dalton.

Dalton epitomized the message behind the NC LETR throughout his years with the Fayetteville Police Department, leading his fellow officers to raise valuable funds and awareness for Special Olympics. His contributions were so vital that the Bill Dalton Unsung Hero award is still given to NC law enforcement officers who have contributed to the Torch Run and Special Olympics in spirit, dedication and enthusiasm in an effective and unheralded fashion.

When Capt. Spatorico saw another officer receive the Bill Dalton Unsung Hero award, he knew he wanted to reignite Fayetteville Police Department’s passion for Special Olympics North Carolina.

Over the next three years, he did just that. Under his leadership, officers have raised more than $77,000 to date for Special Olympics North Carolina through special event fundraisers and merchandise sales.

Fayetteville Police Department has participated in the Special Olympics NC Plane Pull and tip-a-cop events at Red Robin restaurants as well as hosting golf tournaments, motorcycle rides and their first Polar Plunge. In 2017, officers joined the NC LETR Final Leg, carrying the Flame of Hope through Raleigh streets in preparation for the 2017 Special Olympics North Carolina Summer Games, the organization’s largest state-level competition.

In 2016, Capt. Spatorico joined the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run council to provide leadership at the annual NC LETR Conference, the International Torch Run Conference and continue to carry out Bill Dalton’s legacy.

“The Fayetteville police department takes great pride in being a strong supporter of the LETR. Our staff, officers and civilian employees look forward to facilitating fundraisers and participating in Special Olympics events. The foundation of support for LETR at the FPD is rooted in the efforts of Sgt. retired William “Dink” Dalton. His commitment to the NC LETR was second to none, exemplifying all that we strive to be as Guardians of the Flame,” explained Spatorico.

Special Olympics North Carolina athletes are exceptionally lucky to have the dedicated officers of the Fayetteville Police Department as their fans.

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