Retired Butte Silverbow Law Enforcement Sergeant Jerry Williams of Butte was inducted into the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) 2023 Richard LaMunyon Hall of Fame on October 30 in Chicago, Illinois.
Just one of three awards presented internationally, this award is presented by the Law Enforcement Torch Run International Executive Council and is the most prestigious award given in the Law Enforcement Torch Run movement. Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics (LETR) is a volunteer movement that was established by members of the law enforcement community to support Special Olympics. The mission of the Torch Run is to increase awareness and raise funds for the Special Olympics movement.
This honor is bestowed upon those who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, commitment and dedication to the cause at the local, state, national, and international levels. Hall of Fame inductees from the past, present, and future, represent those who have dared to carry the Flame of Hope™ into uncharted territories; excel the mission to new levels; or have demonstrated unwavering leadership in the development of our cause.
For 29 years, Jerry Williams has been instrumental in the success of the Montana Law Enforcement Torch Run program. Jerry’s involvement initially began in 1994 as a LETR volunteer. The passion of the Torch Run quickly ignited in Jerry as he became Montana’s 1st LETR State Director in 1999. From this post, Jerry helped develop and build the LETR Executive Committee in Montana.
Beyond developing the framework for the MT LETR Leadership, Jerry has passionately recruited officers, athletes, and volunteers alike to join the LETR mission. From the very beginning, Jerry is credited with breaking down barriers between city, county, state and federal agency lines in order to get all law enforcement on the same team championing inclusion for all. After his career as an active-duty officer, Jerry went on to be an instructor at the Montana Law Enforcement Academy (MLEA). During this time, Jerry was a strong advocate of the idea that every Basic Class be exposed to LETR through a formal presentation from LETR Officer leaders.
Jerry also helped start Montana’s first ever Polar Plunge in Whitefish, MT in 1999. To date, this is our largest Polar Plunge annually. Jerry has also led other fundraisers including the Mining City Plunge in Butte, the Holiday Dip in Red Lodge, Cops & Lobsters, the LETR Harley Davidson Raffle and the Butte Building Sit. Currently, Jerry leads the MPPA Foundation Golf Tournament to benefit Special Olympics Montana.
From 2012 to 2018, Jerry was the Director of the largest police association in Montana, the Montana Police Protective Association (MPPA). After his term as the director, Jerry became president of MPPA Foundation and continues to serve in that role.
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) is the largest public awareness vehicle and grass-roots fundraiser for Special Olympics. Known honorably as Guardians of the Flame, law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes carry the “Flame of Hope” into Opening Ceremonies of Local, State, Regional and World Games. Annually, more than 113,000 dedicated and compassionate law enforcement members carry the “Flame of hope” symbolizing courage and celebration of diversity uniting communities around the world.
Special Olympics Montana (SOMT) is a state-wide non-profit organization that provides year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health-related programming for individuals with intellectual disabilities. SOMT changes lives through the power of sport by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect.
SOMT is an athlete-centered, family-based, volunteer-driven and sponsor-supported movement with over 3,000 athletes registered in 132 programs from 65 Montana communities. Over 3,300 Montana volunteers help organize and host local, area and state level competitions.
Kristi P. Osterlund
Special Olympics Montana
Special Olympics Montana
PO Box 3507, Great Falls, MT 59403