Bibb County SWAT Team runs for Special Olympics

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – An elite unit of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is doing its part for some local athletes.

"When I first got on the SWAT team in 1999, I was introduced to it," says the Bibb County Sheriff’s SWAT Commander David Freeland.

Freeland joined more than 15 Bibb County SWAT Team members gathered at the corner of Broadway and Georgia Highway 247 for the annual "Special Olympics: Law Enforcement Torch Run."

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"I just love these guys, you know the camaraderie that we have together," he adds.

Commander David Freeland has participated in the 5K for nine years. Freeland says he appreciates his team’s efforts.

"We had a full eight to 10 hour day at training yesterday," explained Freland. "It was hot, and to be able to come back the following next day and get ready to run five miles shows a lot of what these guys will do."



The SWAT Team ran down Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the Government Center.

Lt. Billy Skinner says the torch run is a tradition. He has been running in the annual event  for 13 years.

"We do it for the Special Olympics you know, these guys, the Special Olympians when they compete, like I say they do their very best,” says Skinner. “They give it all they got. So that’s what we expect out of our guys to do the same thing."

One SWAT Team rookie says it’s his first time running in the 5K, but he has been working with Special Olympics since he was a teenager.

"I worked with it a lot in high school. We volunteered for the actual Special Olympic games," says Eric Watkins.

Another SWAT rookie, Herman Beltran, tells 41NBC the athletes are inspiring.

"In all honesty they are the real heroes, you know for doing what they do, being able to go through it,” explained Beltran. “You know, we’re just here trying to support them."

Although the Bibb County SWAT team members admit they were tired from the run, they all agree it was worth it.

The actual torch passing from the Warner Robins Police Department to Bibb County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team was scheduled for Wednesday. But, the police department had a funeral and the Bibb SWAT Team was in training.