When two parties have opposing viewpoints, it’s not uncommon for the two parties to move further apart as differences go unresolved. The angst, the presumptions, the speculation only serve to make compromise more difficult. The Illinois Truck Enforcement Association has worked hard the last six years to find ways for law enforcement and the trucking industry to work together, and the Special Olympics World’s Largest Truck Convoy is one of the best venues for inter-occupation partnership!
This Saturday, August 29th 2015, the ITEA is partnering with the Mid-west Truckers Association, the Illinois State Police and several local police agencies to bring the Convoy to the northern part of the suburban Chicago area.
For many years, the Convoy has taken place in south suburban Tinley Park, IL. The participation there has been a fantastic success. However, the demographics of the convoy have always favored law enforcement and industry domiciled in that region. This year, the south suburban convoy will take place on October 10th.
But what about all those police departments and trucking companies located in northern DuPage & Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties?
For these truckers desiring to participate in the south convoy costs more than just the tax-deductible entry fee. Fuel, tolls, wear’n’tear and extra time (usually overtime) for drivers make participation less attractive. As the economy has slowly began to improve, many companies are back to working on Saturdays, making it even more inconvenient.
In an effort to involve more trucks and police officers, a second convoy was added this year. Kicking off at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, the convoy will head west to on I-90 to the RT47 interchange in Huntley, then turn around and return eastbound to RT59. The whole way being escorted by police officers who will open truck lanes and block intersections for continuous traffic flow.
Here’s the deal – it costs $100 to enter a truck. In the scheme of most businesses every dollar counts, but if $100 bankrupts your company, it was probably about to collapse anyhow. It’s a small price to pay to help a truly awesome group of people compete in athletics. If you have never had an opportunity to be part of a Special Olympics event, you are missing out.
The Illinois Special Olympics is more than just the Law Enforcement Torch Run. This umbrella covers many other events involving police departments such as the Polar Plunge, the Plane Pull, Cop on Top of the Doughnut Shop and more. If swimming in icy water, proving your strength or enjoying a morning pastry is your thing, would you consider participating in one of those events?
Since you are reading this blog today, you are most likely in trucking or a police officer involved in truck enforcement. This is the time to be a part of something bigger using the gifts and resources bestowed upon you. Just as important, it’s a great way to spend time face to face with those in an occupation who are normally at odds.
If you are police officer, please encourage truckers in your town to sign up for the convoy. Let your local public works department, park district and school district know their trucks and buses are welcome too. If you cannot participate in your official capacity, offer to sponsor a truck yourself!
If you are trucker, dig deep and enter a truck. Come and meet the police officers who are regularly involved in truck enforcement efforts and get a new perspective.
Most importantly, come be a part of something that provides opportunities to those who have physical disadvantages in life. It’s easy to take for granted the ease of climbing into a squad car or a CMV each day.
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