Law Enforcement Torch Run

Sponsored by Correctional Officers Association of Delaware, Delaware State Troopers Association and Delaware State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police

The signature event for Delaware LESO is the annual Torch Run, a 160-mile run by more than 400 police officers representing every agency in the state of Delaware.

Torch Run Fact Sheet


Date, time and location

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 approxmately 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.


Information about the Torch Run

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, who was tragically killed in a traffic accident. 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 before the flame makes its way toward and then stops in Odessa.

The final day of the Torch Run, Friday, is marked by a morning ceremony on the steps of the Wilmington Police Department and then specific miles dedicated to law enforcement officers. One of the dedicated portions of the run is the one-mile leg down Main Street in Newark, named "Gary’s Mile" in tribute to Gary Summerville, a University of Delaware officer who died in a traffic accident. The final mile into the athletic complex is known as "Jimmy’s Mile," in honor of Jim Curran, a former New Castle County police officer who was injured in an accident.

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.


History of the event

The 2018 event was the 32nd annual Torch Run. In its history, Delaware Law Enforcement has raised over $7 million.


For more information contact Lisa Smith at or 302-831-3482.