As Police Week comes to a close, we take a look back what now symbolizes the ride into the week of honor and remembrance.
“Are we there yet?” That’s what Fair Haven Police Cpl. John Waltz was likely chanting on Friday as he feverishly rode his bike on the last, probably sore, leg of his journey in the Police Unity Tour. Destination: the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Police officers from across the nation arrived in Washington D.C. at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on bicycles last week and Fair Haven Police Patrolmen John Waltz and Dwayne Reevey and former Chief Darryl Breckenridge were riding with them.
It was the culmination of the annual Police Unity Tour to benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
Arriving on May 12 — after making the sponsored bicycle trek to D.C., each officer riding in honor of a fallen brother in blue — all gathered at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial for a candlelight vigil on May 13.
This year, $2,317,315 was raised to benefit the memorial fund, according to the website.
The memorial was dedicated in 1991 and has more than 20,000 names carved on it dating back to the late 1700s.
This year, Dedicated on October 15, 1991, the Memorial honors federal, state, and local law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety and protection of our nation and its people.
“We are not here because it is our duty. We are here because it is our honor,” NLEOMF President Craig Floyd said in a Facebook post.
— Elaine Van Develde
— Photos/courtesy of John Waltz, Ryan Reiff & Christina Reevey
Take a look at the photos above for a glimpse into the event.
By Elaine Van Develde
They rolled out of Red Bank on May 9 and rolled into Washington D.C. today.
Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge, Cpl. John Waltz and Patrolman Dwayne Reevey, part of the Chapter 10 group of Monmouth County cops in the “ride for those who died” — the Police Unity Tour — reached their destination at about 3 p.m., the Fair Haven PBA Local 184 announced.
The bike ride, which spanned roughly 230 miles for Chapter 10, began in 1997 with 18 riders, was designed to inspire “public awareness of of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and (to) honor their sacrifices” and raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum at the D.C. destination.
The Unity Tour, as of last year, had raised about $16 million. Nearly 20,000 officers who died in the line of duty are memorialized at the Washington site.
“Congratulations are in order for Chief Darryl Breckenridge, Cpl. John Waltz and Ptl. Dwayne Reevey on completing the journey! Well done!” the post on the Fair Haven PBA Facebook page said.
Yes, congrats to all!
It’s the time of year for police officers to “ride for those who died” in the Police Unity Tour.
And at Monday night’s Fair Haven Borough Council meeting, Mayor Ben Lucarelli took a moment to recognize that Chief Darryl Breckenridge would be embarking, once again, on the tour set to depart for Washington D.C. on May 9 and arrive on May 12.
“Good luck Chief,” the mayor said at the meeting. “And thank you for all you do.”
So, the Retro Pic of the Day offers a glimpse back to 2013 and the chief’s ride, his daughter Witney by his side then.
The chief said she would not be joining him this year, but he’s set for the roughly 350-mile ride on his bicycle.
In addition to creating awareness, the ride raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.
The event, which started in 1997 with 18 riders was designed to bring “public awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and (to) honor their sacrifices,” according to the Unity Tour’s website. It garnered $18,000 then.
The Unity Tour, as of last year, had raised $16 million. About 20,000 officers who died in the line of duty are memorialized at the Washington memorial.
Good luck to the chief and all other area police officers riding in this year’s tour!