New Jersey Law enforcement torch run for special olympics, ‘A great cause’

Gloucester Township Police Department participates in New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run

Members of the Gloucester Township Police Department participated in the 2023 New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run. The race path stretched from Atlantic City to Camden.

Last weekend the Gloucester Township Police Department (GTPD), along with a slew of other New Jersey police departments competed in the 2023 New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run. The proceeds of the race benefitted New Jersey participants of the Special Olympics.

The race path stretched from Atlantic City to Camden along the White Horse Pike. Gloucester Township police officers ran a four mile leg of the run between Berlin Township and Lindenwold, handing it off to members of the Camden County Rescue Squad. 

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Among the GTPD participants, there were 11 active police officers, including Sgt. Adam O’Lano who served as team captain and was in charge of organizing the event.

Gloucester Township Community Relations Bureau Commander Don Gansky said this is an event that the department looks forward to every year.

“… It’s a great cause to raise money for people in the Special Olympics,” he said. “What we do is Sgt. O’Lano sends out an email every year asking members of our department who are interested in the run. Our block of the run is always along the White Horse Pike.”

This year the team’s leg was slightly under four miles starting at the Jersey Diner. The way the race works is different law enforcement agencies will carry a physical torch similar to the one seen at all the Olympic and Special Olympics Games, taking turns holding it throughout the race. The torch is then carried to Camden, Gansky explained. 

The NJ Torch run began in 1984 and was conceived to raise funds and public awareness for the Special Olympics New Jersey program. The course ran from Liberty State Park in Jersey City to Rutgers Stadium in New Brunswick, through eight towns, covering 43 miles and raising $7,000. In each succeeding year, the dollar amount became greater and the number of volunteers increased substantially, according to information about the run. 

The funds of the race provides year-round sports training, competition, leadership opportunities and health screenings to 22,000 athletes and Unified Partners. All of these programs and services are always completely free thanks to fundraising events like the Law Enforcement Torch Run.

Full list of participants from the GTPD include O’Lano, Sgt. Evan Thistle, Detective Thomas Ritz, Det. Matthew DiCamillo, Ptl. Matthew Gray, Ptl. Shawn Kelly, Ptl. Anthony Esposito, Ptl. Michael Whelan, Ptl. Ryan Andrick, Retired Detective Gene Martinez and Special Officer Nathan O’Lano.

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