Union County News

Cranford Law Enforcement Officers Pass the Torch for Special Olympics New Jersey

The Elizabeth Police team gets ready to past the torch. Credits: Fran Sullivan

ELIZABETH, NJ – Law Enforcement Officers, including a team from Cranford, and Wakefern volunteers kicked off the weekend of the annual Special Olympics New Jersey (SONJ) Summer Games with a fundraising Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

The Cranford officers joined their colleagues in the Port Authority and US Customs and Border Protection at Wakefern’s facility in Division Street for the second leg of the statewide run that ends at the games on the campus of The College of New Jersey. More than 3,000 officers take to the streets of their communities, split up into 36 separate legs, and run to raise awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey.

That torch is usually passed to recent graduates of the police academy. “It’s become a tradition,” explained John Londono, the co-captain of the Elizabeth team, pointing to the team of whom many are recent grads. “We hope they come back next year on their own. It’s special to give back. We love to help and this is a good cause. It’s a big responsibility, but it is very fulfilling when you see where it is going.”

Sign Up for E-News

Port Authority Lieutenant Mike Sherwood knows how much work goes into a successful six-mile run. He has been organizing this leg for the last 13 years. “I got involved as a rookie and gave out medals. I ask if I could help in any way, and they said ‘sure.’”

Wakefern Corporation has been a corporate sponsor of the Special Olympics since its inception said Steve Hoptay, corporation’s vice president of loss prevention. “We became more involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run about five or six years ago. It kick starts the weekend.”

Hoptay further explained that Wakefern and the officers were responsible for getting all the provisions to the games. Wakefern donates the lunches. “We will serve between 14,000 and 18,000 meals this weekend.”  

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is a major fundraising activity for Special Olympics New Jersey, raising more than $3.7 million in 2016 for the athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey.

Each town hands off the torch at the town border to police officers from the neighboring town. Here’s a list of the teams participating in the second leg that ends in Hillsborough:    

Port Authority Police Dept.

Elizabeth PD and US Customs

Roselle PD

Roselle Park PD

Cranford PD

Garwood PD

Westfield PD

Union County PD

Scotch Plains PD

Fanwood PD

Plainfield PD

Dunellen PD

Middlesex PD

Boundbrook PD

Somerset County Prosecutor's Office

Somerset County Sheriff's Office

Somerville PD

Hillsborough Twp. PD.



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union County Students to 'March for Our Lives' Saturday in Union

March 18, 2018

UNION, NJ – Students from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall on Saturday, March 24, in an anti-gun violence march.

Led by steering committee chairman Colin Sumner, the march, which has the support of Senator Joseph Cryan, Moms Demand Action, Union County Chapter, and the Union County Freeholders, is not aimed at taking away guns, but ending gun ...

UC Tech Student Volunteers Put Fun and Games to Work for Special Needs Learners

March 20, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Earlier this month, a group of 51 students in grades 9 to 11 from the Teacher Education Academy at UC TECH staged an indoor carnival for special needs learners. More than 140 participants from the community attended the event and enjoyed plinko, corn hole, dance revolution, hula hoop activities, a DJ, prizes and more.

UC TECH is part of the Union County ...

Cranford Police Blotter: DWI Arrest & More

March 20, 2018

The information provided does not represent the total scope of police activity.  Individuals charged as a result of police investigations are merely an accusation.  All defendants should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  


1.  03/14/2018 11:32 a.m. 

North Avenue East at Elizabeth Avenue

Arrested:  Shannen Garbiras, 19, Roselle ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

The Cranford Hotel (hosted by Calvary Lutheran Church), Cranford

Beer & Bible

Religions And Spirituality

Fri, March 23, 7:30 PM

Cranford High School Auditorium, Cranford

Save the Date -March 23rd - Cranford High School ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

Fri, March 23, 7:30 PM

Cranford High School Auditorium, Cranford

Cranford High School Senior Fashion Show Friday, ...

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...

Proud to support Tom Malinowski for Congress

March 8, 2018

Every single day, whether I want to be or not, I am reminded how important it is that Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in November and check Donald Trump. Fortunately, there is a terrific candidate in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District who can beat incumbent Leonard Lance. That candidate is Tom Malinowski.

I'm a lifelong New Jersey resident -- including ...