SOMERVILLE, NJ – A pack of Somerville police officers and civilian police dispatchers will take off from their staging point in front of the Van Derveer School Friday afternoon to escort the Special Olympics Torch of Hope through the downtown shopping and restaurant district.
Somerville Police will pick up where a group of Bridgewater police and Somerset County Sheriff’s Officers left off after its escort through Bound Brook and Bridgewater. Somerville Police will carry the torch out onto Route 206 southbound, and pass off to a group of Hillsborough police officers waiting at the Duke Parkway East exit off Route 206.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers from Somerset County will participate in the 38th annual event in support of the New Jersey Special Olympics Summer Games held at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township.
Thousands of police officers and law enforcement personnel statewide take part in the annual event.
The torch that will pass its way through Bridgewater, Somerville and Hillsborough will begin its journey early Friday in northern New Jersey with the New York/New Jersey Port Authority Police, Elizabeth Police and US Customs Officers, working its way south on several legs carried by officers from Roselle, Roselle Park, Cranford, Garwood, Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Plainfield, Dunellen, Middlesex, and Bound Brook.
Somerville Police, County Sheriff Office and State Police cars will escort the pack of runners down Route 28, onto Gaston Avenue and down Main Street past the Somerset County Administration Building, down Main Street, continuing their trek on to Route 206 south, veering off on the Dukes Parkway East exit where they will link up with the Hillsborough Police contingent.
State Police cruisers and Hillsborough Police cars will escort the Hillsborough Police runners along Route 206 until the team passes off to Montgomery Police.
More than 3,000 law enforcement officers throughout New Jersey shucked their uniforms and business suits for running shorts, t-shirts and sneakers to participate in the Torch Run. A total of 26 legs will be run throughout New Jersey Friday, totaling 750 miles.
“Law enforcement officers pledge to serve and uphold the members of their community, so we feel it is our duty to serve the Special Olympics athletes of New Jersey,” said Chief Robert Belfiore, retired Deputy Chief of the Port Authority of NY/NJ and director of the New Jersey Torch Run.
“As a member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run, I always feel privileged to carry the torch,” he added. “This is our chance to become a champion for the cause, to show the members of our communities how talented our local Special Olympics athletes are.”
Each year the “Flame of Hope” run raises over $3 million for New Jersey Special Olympics.
For more information on the 2021 Law Enforcement Torch Run, please visit www.NJTorchRun.org.