The Florida State Police Olympics competition dates back to the early 1970’s. At that time, only a few of the larger departments were involved in the competitive sports. Miami Dade was one of those agencies. Then a man who was so revered by all, described as a “man’s man” and a “cops’ cop” stepped in and brought things to an entirely new level. His name was Captain Larry Foreman of the then Metro- Dade Police Department.
Larry took it upon himself to actively recruit young and old, male and female, athletic or not so much, to get them to participate and attend and represent Miami Dade Police Department at the Olympics. It became contagious. He had this knack of finding out what officers of all ranks liked to do and then found them an area of competition to sign up for. Our numbers doubled, then tripled, then just accelerated to the point that our agency was one of the most represented in the state. Whether it was bowling, golf, softball, basketball, swimming, or track, Larry found a spot and filled your name in it. The results: Miami Dade Police Department eventually took 1st place overall in points earned and the ultimate prize. The next year, Larry would re-sign you and then find someone else to sign up and compete against you. The man and his charisma and persistence prevented anyone from saying “no” to him. And it was all done as an unselfish act out of pride for agency and a desire to include everyone who wanted to be a part of the “TEAM.” Just being a part of that era was exciting. And then, to top it off, who would be at your event watching you compete, would be “Larry” himself as he made his rounds day and night making as many events as he could. “Go get ‘em Tiger” would be his battle cry and encouragement to each competitor. He would try and mix in some golf for himself but his true goal was to see everyone else succeed and take home a medal.
Over the years, I never heard a single negative about Captain Lawrence Foreman. In fact, just the opposite was the widespread feeling about him. He was one of MANY great leaders within that proud and great department, but he really had something extra special about him.
This year, for the first time, an award was created in memory of him by the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department. It will be an annual award, called the Captain Lawrence R. Foreman Police Olympic Torch Award. It will be presented to an individual selected for their qualities of courage, perseverance, effort, leadership and sportsmanship, not just athletic ability. It exemplifies all that the esteemed Captain was all about, on and off the job.
The first Annual Olympic Torch Award was presented on June 28, 2012, to Sgt. John Wyche of the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department. The award was sponsored by retired Sgt. Bob Foreman, Chief Fred Maas and the City of Sunny Isles Beach.