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Trent Ross receives Blue Light Award

By Randy Pierce

COLLINSVILLE — Collinsville Police Department Officer Trent Ross is the recipient of a Blue Light Award presented to him at the 31st annual event hosted by the Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission and the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association for the purpose of recognizing individuals and groups who have made exemplary contributions to public safety and related matters.

At the awards banquet held at the Four Points by Sheraton Fountains Conference Center in Fairview Heights, Ross was one of six individuals from throughout the region who were recognized with a Blue Light Award given to law enforcement agency employees who serve as role models for their colleagues.

Getting two plaques, one for his own keeping and one for the Collinsville Police Department, Ross was nominated for this honor by a fellow officer, Timothy Severine.

Since 2014, Ross has served as liaison for his department in conjunction with Special Olympics of Southern Illinois, raising over $100,000 for this cause through his dedicated efforts. This has included organizing, promoting and coordinating fundraising events such as a 5K run, t-shirt sales and the polar plunge where participants dive into or otherwise immerse themselves in extremely cold water in an outdoor setting.

His responsibilities have included not only volunteering his time and participating in those events but also holding key positions for regional and statewide programs connected with the state’s Special Olympics organization.   

These efforts not only have improved the lives of those with special needs who participate but also have helped the Collinsville Police Department establish positive community relationships.

Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport every day around the world. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities solving the global injustice, isolation, intolerance and inactivity they face.

Special Olympics began in Illinois with the first games at Soldier Field in Chicago in July 1968 thanks to the efforts of Eunice Kennedy Shriver and her peers. There are now more than 4.5 million athletes in 170 countries. Special Olympics is financially sound with diverse revenue streams, a thorough annual budget process and increasing organizational revenue streams. Special Olympics Illinois does not charge athletes or their families to participate in the program.

  The organization’s mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community, utilizing the oath, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Along with the over 20,000 athletes (children and adults) with intellectual disabilities touched by Special Olympics, there are also 20,000-plus young athletes ages two through seven with and without intellectual disabilities along with having 45,000 volunteers and coaches, all who participate in 179 competitions each year consisting of 19 Olympic-type sports in all 102 counties in Illinois.

Collinsville Police Department Officer Trent Ross is the recipient of a Blue Light Award presented to him at the 31st annual event hosted by the Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission and the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association for the purpose of recognizing individuals and groups who have made exemplary contributions to public safety and related matters. (Photo by Randy Pierce)

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