NEWS: Otero prison facility participates in Law Enforcement Torch Run

Alamogordo News

Submitted to the Alamogordo Daily News
November 30, 2020

The Otero County Prison Facility in Chaparral, New Mexico, was asked to participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run in response to its efforts to raise money for Special Olympics.

Only select partners who have a significant history and impact to contributions to Special Olympics and the athletes who participate are given the privilege of being a part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

“I can tell you for a fact, you’ve made lives of Special Olympic athletes, in your area and across the state, better,” said Oscar Solis, agency manager of the Law Enforcement Torch Run of New Mexico. “So, what we have committed to do is to make sure that you are honored and your agency is honored with a flame of hope torch.”

Organizers of the event say the Otero County Prison Facility is the only prison facility or detention center that is raising money for Special Olympics. They’re hoping to model the prison’s fundraising efforts at other correctional facilities.

Robert Ochoa is the prison facility’s chief of security and is critical to the coordination of the fundraising efforts that take place.

“We raise money every year,” he said. “Recently, we started getting inmates to help us to raise money as well. So, it is not just staff raising money, but also inmates helping us out.”

Solis said he was impressed by the efforts.

“When the inmates see that they can contribute to a good cause,” he said, “and these officers, these COs, are willing to do this with them, that inspires that inclusive community; that inspires that thinking bigger than yourselves.

“This is something positive for our community, and this is something that changes lives for the better. And, so, we are proud to present you, Otero County Prison Facility, and thank you, Captain Ochoa and everyone there, for your dedication to our athletes. And congratulations.”