FRANKLIN PARK, NJ – The Franklin Township Police Department will join thousands of police officers to carry the “Flame of Hope” through several towns Friday to commemorate this weekend’s 35th Annual New Jersey Special Olympics Summer Games.

The three-day event will be held at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township.

"Officers from the Franklin Township Police Department along with officers from the South Brunswick Police Department will take part in the Law Enforcement Torch Run For Special Olympics New Jersey," FTPD Police Chief Richard A. Grammar said. "They will be receiving the torch at approximately 4:30 pm on Rt 27 at Bennington Parkway and run approximately seven miles to the Princeton border."

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The township issued an alert encouraging commuters to avoid the area during the run. 

Members of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, Somerset County Sheriff's Office, Somerville Police Department, Bridgewater Police Department and the Hillsborough Police Department will also participate.

The torch will eventually make its way to the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township, where more than 2,500 athletes will gather for the opening ceremonies Friday night.

“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.