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

Hartz Mountain Presents to Planning Board

July 19, 2018

CRANFORD, NJ – After months of waiting, Hartz Mountain continued its application for 750 Walnut at Wednesday’s Planning Board meeting.

James Rhatican, Vice President of Land Use and Development at Hartz Mountain, along two witnesses, real estate broker Matt McDonough and architect Bruce Englebaugh, spoke on Hartz Mountain’s behalf.

Rhatican referred to McDonough as an ...

Sparky Lyle Pitches In to Help Operation Shoebox New Jersey

July 23, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Collectors can own a unique piece of New York Yankees history if they attend Joe Bodnar’s Sports Memorabilia Auction this weekend and are willing to dig deep in to their pockets.

A pair of cleats worn by former New York Yankees relief pitcher Sparky Lyle in the early 1970s will be sold during Bodnar’s auction at TD Bank Ballpark Sunday, July 29 following the ...

Union County Seeks Caring, Compassionate Volunteer Advocates

July 23, 2018

Union County residents who are looking for a unique way to give back to the community can apply to volunteer with the Union County Rape Crisis Center. Volunteers at the Rape Crisis Center provide judgement-free guidance for victims of sexual violence through a phone hotline. They may also accompany victims in person, to help them navigate medical, legal and law enforcement issues.

Union County Summer Arts Festival Continues July 25 at Echo Lake Park Featuring The Vinny’s & Katfish Lucy

The Union County Summer Arts Festival concert series continues on Wednesday, July 25, with the Vinny’s & Katfish Lucy taking the stage at Echo Lake Park in Mountainside.

The free concert series is presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Department of Parks and Recreation. The Summer Arts Festival concert series is held at Echo Lake Park during the month of ...

Tired of cronyism? Yeah, us too

July 21, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Crowdfunding Options for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

Source: Many small start-up businesses and tech ventures in search of capital turn to popular online platforms for crowd fundraising of financial resources to get their concept off the ground and launched into market. Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe, to name a few, offer solutions in generating cash to fund new ideas. How do you get people to contribute to your cause?  Sam Burlum ...