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Camp Pendleton SES Battalion participates in 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run

By Cpl. Shaltiel Dominguez | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | June 1, 2016

More than 30 Marines and police officers from the Security and Emergency Service Battalion and the Camp Pendleton Police Department participated in the 2016 Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of the Special Olympics, June 1.

Col. Reginald L. Hairston, commanding officer of SES Bn., Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Installations – West, received the Special Olympics torch from runners of the Oceanside Police Department at the Camp Pendleton Main Gate.

SES Bn. Marines then relayed the torch and ran it 17 miles to the Orange County Sheriff’s Police Department in San Clemente.

“I like the camaraderie that I see from the Marines and civilians,” said Hairston. “It’s good to see that unity coming together, especially when we’re connecting with the civilians coming in. We take care of people on the base, regardless of whether they’re in uniform or not.”

“We want to ensure that the outside community understands that we are connected to them and that we are just like them,” added Hairston.

More than 20 officers from the Oceanside Police Department either participated in, or supervised the event.

“It’s one of the events that we can say we work hand in hand with the Marines,” said Valencia Saadat, lieutenant with the Oceanside Police Department. “We’re a military town and a lot of our officers are former Marines. It’s a way for us to build our working relationship.

“It’s also a way for us to reach out to the community and show them that we’re working together and involving them in what we do,” added Saadat.

The Oceanside Police Department conducts fundraising programs to provide uniforms, equipment and transportation for more than 700 Special Olympics Athletes.

“It’s for a good cause,” said Saadat. “We’re giving back. It’s a good feeling to be able to help others.”