EAST BRUNSWICK, SOUTH BRUNSWICK, CRANBURY, NJ - On a brisk Autumn morning local police departments once again took to the road as they participated in the New Jersey Special Olympics Torch Run.
TAPinto East Brunswick caught up with law enforcement officers from the South Brunswick Police Department just after 7:30 this morning as they ran down Route 130 South into Cranbury. There was a large contingent of men and women who, after they finished their run, dropped and gave 20 pushups for the cause, too.
Later in the morning, representatives from the East Brunswick Police Department grabbed some support as they ran through parts of Spotswood, South River, Milltown and EB, including a stint on Route 18 North.
Like most things Middlesex County, the run concluded in New Brunswick. Law enforcement officers from the Middlesex County Department of Corrections and the Middlesex County Sheriff's Office supported the event at all sites along the run.
According to the New Jersey Law Enforcment Torch Run website, "In 1982, the late Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Officer Steven Vitale was asked to take photos at a local Special Olympics competition in New Jersey. He was so moved by the determination exhibited by the athletes that he asked other police officers to volunteer at the Summer Games. In 1984, the first New Jersey Torch Run was conceived to raise funds and public awareness for the Special Olympics New Jersey program. The course ran from Liberty State Park in Jersey City to Rutgers Stadium in New Brunswick, through eight towns, covering 43 miles and raising $7,000. In each succeeding year, the dollar amount became greater and the number of volunteers increased substantially.
Driven by the willingness of the New Jersey Law Enforcement officers to do more, the Law Enforcement Torch Run began to expand over the years. New fundraising events and initiatives were created and held throughout the Garden State to promote the Special Olympics movement. With over $4 million raised annually by more than 3,000 officers through local and statewide events, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey has been recognized in the world for many years as one of the top grassroots fundraising organizations for Special Olympics. Fundraising events that are conducted year-round in New Jersey include an Adopt-a-Cop campaign for the annual Torch Run, three Polar Bear Plunges, the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K, the United Airlines Plane Pull and golf outings. In addition to fundraising, Law Enforcement Officers volunteer at athlete competitions and events year-round, while serving as ambassadors in local communities."