Members of the Scarborough Police Department participated in the Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run (for Special Olympics). Courtesy Photo/Scarborough Police Department.

SCARBOROUGH — Police departments all over Maine participated in the Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run, including members of the Scarborough Police Department.  

On June 9, six members of the Scarborough Police Department ran in the Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run for the Special Olympics. They ran with the torch on  Route 1 from the Saco city line to the South Portland city line.  

“I participated in this event in the past when I was a Maine State Trooper,” said Scarborough Police Chief Mark Holmquist. “This is my first torch run as a member of the Scarborough Police Department. The event went well, with plenty of support from citizens along the six-mile stretch from Saco to South Portland. All seven team members finished the run together before passing off the torch to members of the South Portland Police Department.”  

Six members of the department participated this year; Holmquist, Lieutenant Scott Vaughan, Deputy Chief David Grover,  Sergeant Don Laflin, Detective Garrett Strout, and Administrative Assistant Kim Sperlich. They also had one person from outside of the department join them.  

“This was my 30th year participating in the Maine Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run,” said Grover. “The event went well. It’s an honor and privilege to be part of helping kick off the Maine Special Olympics summer games.”  

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics is the organization’s largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle. A torch run is a running event where officers and athletes run the Flame of Hope to the opening ceremonies of local Special Olympics competitions. According to the Special Olympics website, “annually, more than 85,000 dedicated, compassionate and volunteer law enforcement officers participate in the torch run throughout 35 nations, 12 Canadian provinces, and 50 US states, raising over $500 million since its inception in 1981.”  


Other police departments participating in the Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run included Sanford, South Portland, Portland, Lincoln County, Kittery, Brunswick, Waterville, Bridgeton, Fort Kent, Madawaska, Rumford and a few other locations. In Maine, there are more than 750 members of law enforcement that participate in the Torch Run.  

“The Law Enforcement Torch Run is an opportunity for officers to show their admiration for the courage, perseverance, and dedication of the participating Special Olympics athletes,” said Holmquist. “It is a great cause our officers look forward to participating in on a yearly basis while providing our support for the Special Olympic mission.”  

On Friday, June 10, members of the Maine Law Enforcement Torch Run convened at the University of Maine steam plant with the Flame of Hope where they light the cauldron. This ceremony signifies the start of the Special Olympics Maine State Summer Games.  

“Last year’s Torch Run raised approximately $250,000 for Special Olympics Maine and with over a $1 million annual budget and two years of very little in-person fundraising, those are much needed funds,” said Lisa Bird in a media statement.

 For more information on the Special Olympics events, visit



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