OCEAN COUNTY – If you’re seeing a lot of police officers on bicycles, it’s because they are all heading down to Washington, D.C. as part of the annual Police Unity Tour.
The tour is made to raise money for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, and to bring support and recognition to the families of officers who lost their lives. The motto is “We ride for those who died.”
The tour started at different times, depending on the location of the department. (Several states take part in the event.) It will conclude on May 12 at a ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. There will also be a candlelit vigil on May 13 at dusk.
The tour started in 1997, when 18 members raised $18,000. According to the tour’s website, the tour was able to generate $2.6 million from 2,500 members last year. This brings together a total of almost 23 million dollars over two decades.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial site, there have been 51 officers who lost their lives on duty this year. Of these deaths, 28 were firearms-related, and 16 were traffic-related.