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April 28, 2008

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 961-6682


On Saturday, April 26th, the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Torch Run held its first annual paintball tournament at Fox 4 Paintball in Upton, Massachusetts.

Five teams registered to do battle, including two teams from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department (SCSD) who fought against three other law–enforcement and security teams, each vying for the coveted first place finish in this first–of–its–kind tournament to support Special Olympics of Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Law Enforcement Torch Run is designed for law enforcement officers, representing the state, to act as “Guardians of the Flame” and carry the Special Olympics torch “Flame of Hope” to the Opening Ceremonies of the Special Olympics Summer games in Boston. The run is not only a salute to the athletes from Massachusetts who will compete in the games, but it is also an honor for the participating law enforcement officers who take part during the run.

One SCSD team was made up of officers from the House of Correction while the other team featured two officers, a caseworker, and a deputy director.

Winning the competition and obtaining bragging rights until the next tournament were the SCSD House of Correction (HOC) team made up of Rob Murphy, John Driscoll, Chris Dunn, Byron Graff, and Wayne Jordan. This team battled its way through the competition to take home top billing and the tournament trophy. The first place team finishers when asked about the event said, “It was good to represent the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department and support the kids of Special Olympics here today. We all had a great time and look forward to continuing our support for Special Olympics in the future.”

Coming in second was a team called “the Blue Eagles,” comprised of officers from the Boston College Police Department. The third place finalist was a team made up of MVM Security. MVM is a government contractor that provides physical security, detention services, personal security details, prisoner escort/transportation, training, language services, and related services to the government.

Fourth place went to the team “the Feds,” comprised of officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Feds team member Joanne Russell–Gomez, an Investigator with the Dept. of Labor, is also the Director for the Boston Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and was instrumental in organizing the tournament.

“Everyone that joined the tournament had a great time,” Russell–Gomez said. “It was a team effort for all these groups to come out and have fun while supporting the Special Olympics athletes.”

She continued, “All the money raised today goes directly to help train athletes for competing in Special Olympics games.”

Rounding out the field in fifth place was the second SCSD group, “the Fantastic Four,” which included Ed Eames, K–9 Sergeant Brian Stack, Ed Geary Jr., Deputy Director of External Affairs, and Sara Fuller, an HOC caseworker.

Deputy Director Geary said, “I must say I was a little apprehensive, this being my first time at paintball and not knowing what to expect. It was compounded when I looked at the different teams we were going up against since I don’t have a tactical weapons background.”

Geary continued, “Seeing some of the maneuvers that were demonstrated in the tournament by the opposing teams was very impressive. Overall, I had a great time and look forward to the competition next year.”

Fox 4 Paintball graciously donated the equipment, supplies, and a full day’s use of their field at no cost. That meant 100% of the proceeds collected through the registration process for the tournament went straight to Special Olympics.

“The staff and employees of Fox 4 Paintball really stepped up to the plate in their support of Special Olympics,” said Geary. “The law enforcement community was grateful for their tremendous support and we can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to the hospitality they gave the players.”

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