The leaders, officers and staffers of the Winter Haven Police Department aren’t seeking the spotlight of praise, but we’re going to shine a little light on them anyway. They deserve to be commended for their work in the community — volunteer work that goes well beyond their sworn and very important public-safety duties.

Through its personnel, the WHPD assists a variety of charitable and service organizations each year. In particular, the department is heavily involved with support for Special Olympics Florida. The WHPD held its Special Olympics Luncheon on Sept. 29 at the Chain O’ Lakes Complex, local officers participate each year in Florida’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, and planning is under way already for the department’s Fourth Annual 5K for Special Olympics Florida.

The 5K fundraiser for Special Olympics is set for the morning of Saturday, March 11, 2017, starting and finishing at Central Park in downtown Winter Haven. It’s actually four events in one — a five-kilometer race, a one-mile race, a walking competition, and a beginner’s race. You can get more information about the 5K and even register for it now (at a discount) at The WHPD also has its own Facebook page — — to promote its Special Olympics-related activities.

Tucker Paving, Inc., has been a business co-sponsor for previous WHPD 5Ks for Special Olympics Florida, and our team looks forward to helping out with the one coming up next March. If you — as an individual, business, or service organization — would like to help out, too, give the WHPD a call at 863-291-5858.

On the Web:

• Winter Haven Police Department:
• Florida Special Olympics: