The 33rd annual Delaware Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics kicked off the first leg of the 160-mile journey of the torch around the state June 12 in downtown Rehoboth Beach. Over the past three decades, law enforcement officers have raised more than $8 million to support Special Olympics through the event.
The first mile was run in memory of two fallen Sussex County police officers – Cpl. Christopher Shea of Delaware State Police and Patrolman Chad Spicer of Georgetown Police Department. Shea, assigned to Troop 7 in Lewes, died July 18, 2004, when his car was hit by a drunk driver traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of Route 1 near Milford. Spicer was shot and killed in the line of duty on Sept. 1, 2009.
On June 13, groups from Georgetown and Delmar departed meeting up with the Rehoboth Beach group in Harrington for a final push to Odessa on the second day. On June 14 on the last leg, the Olympics Flame of Hope was carried into University of Delaware stadium for the 2019 Special Olympics Summer Games opening ceremony. More than 500 law enforcement officers took part in the event.
Delaware State Police officer Kristopher Thompson is Torch Runner of the Year and Col. Vaughn Bond of New Castle County is Law Enforcement for Special Olympics chairman.