Police & Fire

Law Enforcement Officers Pass the Torch for Special Olympics New Jersey

0eac541b2c7f009a9eaf_IMG_7964.JPG
The Elizabeth Police team gets ready to past the torch. Credits: Fran Sullivan
84ddd97a403c75f6520c_CROPPED_IMG_7955.JPG
752db20661a0d866b4c9_CROPPED_IMG_7961__1_.JPG
0eac541b2c7f009a9eaf_IMG_7964.JPG

ELIZABETH, NJ – Law Enforcement Officers, including a team from Elizabeth Police, 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 Elizabeth 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.

“It builds camaraderie between us and other law enforcement,” explained Alexander Gonzalez, co-captain of the Elizabeth police team. “We were fortunate when the officer in charge retired and literately passed the torch to us.”

Sign Up for E-News

That torch is usually passed to recent graduates of the police academy. “It’s become a tradition,” explained John Londono, the other 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.”

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

Rahway

Union County's Kurt Steiner, a Holocaust Survivor, tells Life Story as 106th Birthday Draws Near

April 24, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – In a quaint white house near the border of Cranford and Garwood, 105-year-old Kurt Steiner sat at his dining room table, surrounded by cabinets that held his collection of Viennese glass and antique Limoge plates. At his table, he had his carefully taped together passport and exit papers from Vienna, Austria, stamped with a large “J” and “Jude,” the ...

Learning to Fly Drones at Lamberts Mill Academy

April 24, 2018

Thanks to a very generous donation from the Columbia Bank Foundation the students at Lamberts Mill Academy are learning how to build, program and fly drones. This innovative program will ensure that students gain skills needed for 21st Century employment. 

 

Lamberts Mill Academy, located in Westfield, New Jersey, is part of the Union County Educational Services Commission.

Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council hosts Know Your Neighbor Event in Rahway

Recognizing the great divide that exists in the nation today, including fear of those who do not look like us, the Union County Interfaith Coordinating Council recently held a Know Your Neighbor event to foster greater familiarity of and friendship with others within the community. The event was held at the Rahway Family Success Center at JFK Community Center in Rahway.

The Know Your Neighbor ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 21, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...