In February Sgt. Dave Hartman and Lt. Rob Kluk of the Wilton Police climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Special Olympics.

On Wednesday, Special Olympics CT acknowledged several Connecticut law enforcement agencies that were the top fundraisers for the organization in 2020 as part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. Among them was the Wilton Police Department, which was recognized as the number two best fundraiser on behalf of the non-profit after raising $15,036.48.

The money raised by the Wilton officers primarily came via two fundraisers in which they participated–Over the Edge, in which officers rappel down a high-rise building; and Conquering Kili, a team expedition to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

According to Lt. Dave Hartman, who, along with Lt. Robert Kluk, represented Wilton on the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb, Conquering Kili was the one main effort that put the town’s department near the top of the fundraising leaderboard.

“All donations we received last year from Jan. 1, 2020 until we left [for Tanzania in February] was the majority of the money we were able to raise. COVID put a huge damper on fundraising last year,” Hartman said.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run is a year-round initiative encapsulating various events and activities hosted and supported by law enforcement members to benefit individuals with intellectual disabilities and their teammates. The money raised helps fund Special Olympics’ sports, health and fitness programs.

The complete list of the top 10 fundraising law enforcement agencies and their contributions include:

  1. Middletown Police Department – $22,700.19
  2. Wilton Police Department – $15,036.48
  3. Cheshire Police Department – $13,571.43
  4. Monroe Police Department – $12,933.11
  5. University of Connecticut Police Department – $11,516.06
  6. Bristol Police Department – $10,727.31
  7. Brookfield Police Department – $10,391.21
  8. Vernon Police Department – $9,530.06
  9. Fairfield University Department of Public Safety – $9,530.06
  10. Connecticut State Police Traffic Services – $8,283.52

Law enforcement officers from across Connecticut collectively raised money to provide opportunities and a sense of belonging to athletes of all abilities through events like the Penguin Plunge and Over the Edge fundraisers, Coin Drives, Tip-A-Cop events, merchandise  and Adopt-a-Mile sales and additional charitable efforts in their local communities.