SOMERVILLE, NJ – A pack of Somerville police and civilian police dispatchers will lift off from their whereabouts outside Van Derveer School on Friday afternoon to escort the Special Olympics Torch of Hope through the downtown shopping and dining district.
Somerville Police will pick up where a group of Bridgewater Police and Somerset County Sheriff’s Officers left off after escorting through Bound Brook and Bridgewater. Somerville Police will carry the torch south on Route 206 and hand it over to a group of Hillsborough police waiting at the Duke Parkway East exit of Route 206.
Hundreds of Somerset County law enforcement officers will attend the 38th annual event in support of the New Jersey Special Olympics Summer Games, held at the College of New Jersey in Ewing Township.
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Thousands of police officers and law enforcement agencies across the country attend the annual event.
The torch, which will pass through Bridgewater, Somerville and Hillsborough, will begin its journey early Friday in northern New Jersey with the New York / New Jersey Port Authority Police, Elizabeth Police and U.S. Customs officers and will cover several of them Legged officers making their way south are officers from Roselle, Roselle Park, Cranford, Garwood, Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Plainfield, Dunellen, Middlesex, and Bound Brook.
Somerville Police, County Sheriff’s Office and State Police cars will escort the pack of runners on Route 28, down Gaston Avenue and Main Street, past the Somerset County Administration Building and down Main Street continue their walk south on Route 206 and take the Dukes Parkway East exit, where they join the Hillsborough Police contingent.
State Police cruisers and Hillsborough Police cars will escort Hillsborough Police runners along Route 206 until the team is transferred to the Montgomery Police.
More than 3,000 police officers across New Jersey donned their uniforms and business suits against running shorts, t-shirts, and trainers to compete in the torch run. A total of 26 stages will be run in New Jersey on Friday, a total of 750 miles.
“Police officers are committed to serving and protecting the members of their community, so we see it as our duty to serve the New Jersey Special Olympics athletes,” said Chief Robert Belfiore, deputy chief of NY Port Authority / NJ retired, and director of the New Jersey Torch Run.
“As a member of the Law Enforcement Torch Relay, I always feel privileged to carry the torch,” he added. “This is our chance to become a champion for cause and show members of our communities how talented our local Special Olympics athletes are.”
Every year, the Flame of Hope run raises over $ 3 million for the New Jersey Special Olympics.
For more information on the Law Enforcement Torch Relay 2021, please visit www.NJTorchRun.org.