Press Release Article


Date: May 29, 2003
Press Release Number: 74-2003

Seventeen current and retired members of the Port Authority Police Department will join more than 2,500 of their New Jersey police colleagues from various agencies in the New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, a major fund-raiser for the statewide organization scheduled for Friday, May 30.

The New Jersey Torch Run, led by Port Authority Deputy Chief Robert H. Belfiore, will begin in various parts of the state – from High Point to Atlantic City. Some of the runs begin as early as 5 a.m.

Port Authority Superintendent of Police/Director of Public Safety Charles D. De Rienzo said, “Our officers and retired officers are extremely proud to contribute their time and energy to such a worthwhile cause. For all of our officers, participating in this event is a labor of love for them, and pays tribute to the many good things that Special Olympics has done for so many people.”

Port Authority Deputy Superintendent of Police Samuel J. Plumeri Jr. said, “Our officers are dedicated public servants who have a strong bond to communities in New York and New Jersey, where they live and work. Special Olympics New Jersey is one of many worthwhile causes where Port Authority Police are committed to making a difference in the lives of many people.”

Marc S. Edenzon, president of Special Olympics New Jersey, aid, “The law enforcement community throughout New Jersey has demonstrated a commitment to Special Olympics New Jersey, not only through their fundraising efforts, but with their sincere friendship and support of Special Olympics athletes throughout the state. While the officers who support the New Jersey Law Enforcement Torch Run are recognized throughout the world for their success, their true impact is in their local communities where they make a difference in supporting Special Olympics athletes every day.”

Deputy Chief Belfiore, Director of the New Jersey Torch Run, said the New Jersey officers raised $1.6 million last year for Special Olympics, earning the top rank among 92 International Torch Run programs. He said the New Jersey officers expect to exceed that amount this year.

Deputy Chief Belfiore, whose work with Special Olympics began shortly after he joined the Port Authority Police Department in 1980, has been selected as one of 10 team leaders from around the world to participate in the International Law Enforcement Torch Run. He will participate on a portion of a route that will travel through Europe beginning June 1 and ending in Dublin, Ireland, on June 20. The 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games are scheduled to take place in Dublin from June 21 through June 29.

Throughout New Jersey, law enforcement participants will run more than 960 miles on Friday to fulfill their pledges. Runners depart from various points throughout the state and will meet at the College of New Jersey in Ewing at 7 p.m. for the opening ceremony.

Nationwide, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics raised more than $20 million for Special Olympics in 2002. Nearly 85,000 law enforcement officers around the world carried the torch across 35 nations, raising awareness and funds for Special Olympics.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run began in 1981 when Wichita, Kansas, Police Chief Richard LaMunyon saw an urgent need to raise funds for and increase awareness of Special Olympics.

In addition to Deputy Chief Belfiore, the following Port Authority Police officers and retired officers also will participate or will help coordinate the event:



Retired Lt. Ed Garrett




Lt. Bill Zika

Saddle Brook

Detective Lt. Bob Driscoll

Shore Run

Sgt. Kevin Feeley

High Point

Sgt. Kevin Murphy

Shore Run

Sgt. Rick Munnelly


Retired Police Officer James McKeever


Retired Police Officer Larry McKevitt


Police Officer Jeff Fosello

High Point

Police Officer Larry Mays


Police Officer Rich Murawinski


Police Officer Brian Odell


Police Officer Mark Roman


Police Officer Mariann Baumbach

Opening ceremony

Police Officer Lindy Rosato


Police Officer John Weir

Shore Run

Run Name

Starting Point


End Location



High Point

High Point State Park

5:15 a.m.

Granetz Plaza

3:50 p.m.


Route 23, Sussex




Shore Run

Island Beach State Park

5 a.m.

Perth Amboy ShopRite

2 p.m.

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