Since the beginning of his 21-year policing career, Staff Sergeant John Doran was a steadfast supporter of Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR). John’s participation initially started when he got involved with the annual Peel Regional Police Catherine Heaney Torch Run for Special Olympics Ontario (SOO). As a result of John’s leadership qualities and passion for supporting the athletes, his participation in LETR evolved to that of event organizer where he held an active role within the Peel Regional Police LETR committee.
John was a driving force behind the Lone Star Cops and Cowboys fundraiser. While assigned as a patrol Sergeant at 21 Division, John took ownership of and chaired a sub-committee for the event. John was committed to engaging and involving Special Olympics Brampton, ensuring that the athletes were promoting SOO, having a few nachos, and fun along the way! John particularly became close friends with Special Olympics Brampton athlete, Dylan Best. “Not only did the athletes take to John instantly but, you could see his face light up when he interacted with them,” said Dylan’s mom, Wendi Best. “My son personally had such a laugh with John. Both of them were full of energy,” she continued. Over the years, John’s contributions to the Lone Star Cops and Cowboys event raised thousands of dollars and benefitted many SOO athletes.
John also spent his time annually volunteering in the Polar Plunge. John was a true Polar Plunge veteran and did not miss a single year of participation. John’s love of participation in team sport and promotion of the idea of inclusion for the special needs community was well known by his Peel Regional Police family. Retired Detective Sergeant and former LETR Provincial Director, Kevin MacBean, remarked, “John always made time for the athletes and made Ryan (Kevin’s son and SOO athlete) feel special and important.” John had the ability to make anyone who crossed his path feel both included and special in their own respect.
Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper opportunity and encouragement, learn, enjoy, and benefit from participation in individual and team sports. John was a true “Guardian of the Flame” and testament to police community engagement by supporting the ideals set out by LETR.
The Peel Regional Police family will certainly miss their colleague and brother, Staff Sergeant John Doran. Rest easy, John. We will miss the laughs! Thank you for your service.