We are proud to announce that the Law Enforcement Torch Run has globally raised more than $𝟭 𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 for local Special Olympics programs since 1981! These funds have helped enable our programs to provide year-round sports training and competition for our athletes.

Special Olympics New Jersey is grateful for the thousands of law enforcement personnel from all over New Jersey who support our mission through the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). While dedicated to increasing public awareness for our program, they are also committed to raising funds for our athletes so that we can offer our programs free of charge.

The level of commitment our law enforcement community has made to our athletes can never be measured, but the statewide Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey has been recognized around the world for many years as one of the top grassroots fundraising organizations for Special Olympics. Through year-round fundraising events, the LETR has raised more than $3 million annually, hitting a record high of $4.2 million in 2019!

In addition to fundraising, the Law Enforcement officers volunteer at athlete competitions and events year-round, serving as our ambassadors in local communities.

Special Events

Our Law Enforcement Torch Run community is dedicated to fundraising all year long through local fundraising events in addition to special events such as the Lincoln Tunnel Challenge 5K, the Plane Pull presented by United Airlines, and the Adopt-a-Cop campaign. However, none are more well known than our Polar Bear Plunges and the Annual Torch Run.

Polar Bear Plunges

Polar Bear Plunge

Every year, thousands of people jump into the icy Atlantic Ocean in the middle of winter. Despite the cold, our Polar Bear Plunges continue to grow in popularity. Over 8,000 participants raised more than $2.6 million in 2024.

Annual Torch Run

The Annual Torch Run is the heart of the Law Enforcement Torch Run movement. Each year, thousands of officers take to the streets of their local communities on 1 of 26 separate routes to help carry the “Flame of Hope” to the Special Olympics New Jersey Summer Games to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony. The 2024 Annual Torch Run is on Friday, June 7th.


Law Enforcement Torch Run Leadership

The 47 dedicated members of the State Committee are what drive the continued reach and success of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey.


Major Kevin Burke, Director
NJ State Police, Retired

Chief Robert Belfiore, Director Emeritus
Port Authority Police Department, Retired

Captain Robert T. MacFarlane, Executive Deputy Director
William Paterson University Police, Retired

Lieutenant Lou Hannon, Deputy Director – South
Camden Police Department, Retired

Detective Robert Flanigan, Deputy Director – Central
Freehold Borough Police Department

Captain James Sepp, Deputy Director – North
Bogota Police Department, Retired

State Committee

Sheriff’s Officer Joseph (Jay) Aretino
Monmouth County Sheriff Dept, Retired

Patrolman Joe Bardi
William Paterson University PD

Sergeant Chip Bartkowski
Ewing PD, Retired

Officer Brian Belfiore
Port Authority PD

Detective Lt. Phillip Bellomo
Paramus PD, Retired

Captain Garth Brown
Ridgefield PD, Retired

Detective James Caulfield
Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Lieutenant Lisa Cawley
NJ Division of Criminal Justice, Retired

Detective Lt. Bob Driscoll
Port Authority PD, Retired

Sergeant Gary Evangelista
Camden PD, Retired

Sergeant Mike Failace
Lyndhurst PD, Retired

Sergeant Maggie Freeman
Manalapan, Police Department, Retired

Captain Jason Gerba
Edison Police Department

Jolene Grembowiec

Officer Meg Hammond
Raritan Twp PD

Lieutenant Beth Kraus
NJ Dept. of Corrections, Retired

Detective Kevin C. Lyons, Sr.
Long Beach Twp PD, Retired

Detective Frank Mackey
Wayne PD, Retired

Chief Joe Madden
Park Ridge Police Department

Patrolman Eric Micallef
Lakewood Township Police Department

Chief Ranger 1 Bruce Mathews
NJ State Rangers, Retired

Lieutenant Pete Mauro
Park Ridge PD

Detective Larry Mays
Port Authority Police Department, Retired

John McHugh
Wakefern/ShopRite Corporation

PO James McKeever
Port Authority PD, Retired

Captain Ken Miscia, Jr.
Montclair PD, Retired

Lieutenant Chris Neder
Middlesex Co. Sheriff’s Office

Angelo Onofri, Prosecutor
Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office

Detective Lt. Michael Podolak
Port Authority PD, Retired

Patrolman Anthony Pulizzano
Upper Saddle River PD

Sergeant Chelsea Richard
Edison Police Department

Lieutenant Christopher Rinaldi
Secaucus Police Department

Captain Joe Sarnoski
Lyndhurst PD, Retired

Detective Todd Smith
Freehold Twp. PD, Retired

Tracey Tift, Training Officer
Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office

Allan Tittermary, CBPO
US Customs & Border Protection

Captain Glenn Toepert
Saddle Brook PD, Retired

Detective Vito Vacirca
Mercer County Sheriff’s Office

Lieutenant Bill Zika
Port Authority PD, Retired

Law Enforcement Torch Run Partners

The following generous partners have made a financial and focused commitment to events hosted by the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics New Jersey.

Contact Us

For information on how to get your local law enforcement community involved, contact us at letr@sonj.org.