Pelham dedicates Alabama Torch Run to Officer Juan Gomez

Published 8:50 am Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

PELHAM – On Thursday morning, May 19, members of the Pelham Police Department prepared to take part in the Pelham leg of the Alabama Torch Run for Special Olympics. This year’s run hit particularly close to home as the Pelham leg has a new name: The Gomez Leg, dedicated to the late Officer Juan Gomez.

Gomez died in 2021 from complications from COVID-19. The Special Olympics was always an important organization to Gomez, who was described by his fellow officers as a caring and dedicated officer, family man and member of the Pelham community.

Gomez’s wife Katie was in attendance along with his mother, sister-in-law and nephew were also in attendance. The run started at the Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena, continued on Amphitheatre Road to Hwy 31, right on Highway 119 and then cut through back to the parking lot of Oak Mountain Amphitheatre over the bridge.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is a statewide grass roots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for ​​​Special Olympics Alabama.

It is comprised of hundreds of law enforcement and criminal justice professionals every year.

“This year’s torch run was extra special,” Police Chief Pat Cheatwood said. “Officer Gomez was always a huge supporter of The Alabama Torch Run for Special Olympics, and it was our honor to carry on his legacy this year. We were also accompanied by several members of the Gomez family, some of who ran with our law enforcement family.”

Cheatwood encouraged members of the public to support the charity as it is very important and special to the PPD and the law enforcement field.

“The athletes are worth every cent that is collected, and it is an honor to make their dreams come true,” he said.