Law Enforcement Torch Run

June 12th, 2019 - 5:00 pm

The signature event for Delaware LESO is the annual Torch Run, a 160-mile run by more than 500 police officers representing every agency in the state of Delaware. The Torch Run is sponsored by Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, Delaware State Troopers Association and Delaware State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police.


2019 Torch Run -- the 33rd annual -- begins with a gala send-off on Wednesday, June 12 at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand beginning at 7 p.m.

Greg Mack's band "33 1/3" plays beginning at 6:30 and again after the ceremony.

Ceremonies will then take place at Legislative Hall in Dover on Thursday at 2 p.m. and Wilmington Police Department on Friday at approximately 9:45 a.m.

A feature part of the run is down Main Street in Newark. 

The "Flame of Hope" will then be carried into the Opening Ceremony of the Summer Games, which begins Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center.


The Torch Run kicks off in Rehoboth Beach the Wednesday before Summer Games with Law Enforcement motorcycles presenting the ‘Flame of Hope’ during a formal ceremony at the bandstand at 7 p.m. Runners then lead the Torch out of town with the first mile dedicated to Cpl. Chris Shea (DSP) and Ptlm. Chad Spicer (Georgetown PD). This first leg of the Torch Run is sponsored by Nicola Pizza. The flame continues to Delaware State Police Troop 7 in Lewes where the run stops for the night.

On Thursday, the Torch Run resumes in three Sussex County locations – Delmar, Lewes, and Georgetown. The three Sussex County legs of the Torch Run unite in Harrington, where the three torches become one and the run continues north through Kent County. The procession stops for an afternoon ceremony at Legislative Hall in Dover. The flame then makes it way north and includes a Memorial Mile dedicated to Lt. Steven Floyd (Dept. of Correction) before stopping in Odessa for the night.

The final day of the Torch Run, Friday, begins in Odessa and includes a Memorial Leg between the New Castle County Police Department and the Wilmington Police Department. The Memorial Leg is dedicated in memory of Cpl. Stephen Ballard (DSP), Cpl. France Collender (DSP), Cpl. James Curran (NCC PD), MCpl. Rick Long (DSP), Capt. Stephen Misetic (Wilm. PD), Chief William Nefosky (Newark PD), Lt. Joe Szczerba (NCC PD) and Major Gary Summerville (UD PD). There is a brief ceremony at Wilmington Police Department before the Torch Run continues on its final leg to the Bob Carpenter Center on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.

The Flame of Hope is then run into the Opening Ceremony (12:30 p.m. at the Bob Carpenter Center) by the Torch Runner of the year, who is joined by the Outstanding Athlete for the lighting of the cauldron.

Throughout the Torch Run, several volunteers leap-frog the Torch Run to ensure it stays lit the entire 160 miles, a tradition started by the late Winnie "Torch Master" Spence in 1994. Delaware is the only state in the country that runs a lit 'Flame of Hope' the entire length of the state prior to its Summer Games.


The 2018 event was the 32nd annual Torch Run. In its history, Delaware Law Enforcement has raised over $7.8 million.

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