(INDIANAPOLIS) - July 9, 2012 marked the start of the 10th annual Cops Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride across and around Indiana.
A departure ceremony was held at the Law Enforcement/Firefighter Memorial, adjacent to the State Capitol, in downtown Indianapolis.
The 53 cyclists participating in the ride departed shortly after the key note comments of Chief John Plasse, from the Terre Haute Police Department. Their 9:30 a.m. departure from the memorial took them east toward Greenfield, Indiana on the first leg of a journey that will last 13 days and cover nearly 1,000 miles bicycling the perimeter of Indiana.
Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation, Inc., are a group of active and retired police officers, law enforcement survivors and friends of law enforcement riding their bicycles around the perimeter of Indiana to raise money and awareness about the sacrifices made by Hoosier law enforcement families across Indiana.
Funds raised from this event are used to aid surviving family members and co-workers
of officers killed in the line-of-duty. A portion of the funds raised directly supports the Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors.
This year the cyclists are recognizing the sacrifice made by Terre Haute Police Officer Brent Daniel Long. Brent was shot and killed on July 11, 2011, as he and other officers served a felony warrant at a house in Terre Haute. Brent's canine "Shadow" was also shot but survived. Officer Long had served with the Terre Haute Police Department for six years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
The ride is scheduled to conclude on the afternoon of Saturday, July 21, 2012, at Crown Hill Cemetery, Heroes of Public Safety Section, where the riders will reunite with their families and other law enforcement survivors. There will be a short closing ceremony beginning at 2:30 p.m. when a donation check will be presented to the Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors.
To see the route the cyclists will follow, please visit their website: http://home.comcast.net/~copscycling4survivors/site/?/page/Route/. Additional information on specific locations of meals and overnights can be found by clicking on the Events tab of the website.
This ride was started in 2003 by Lieutenant Gary Dudley of the Indiana State Police. In 2001 and 2002 Lt. Bruce Baker of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Officer Todd Knowles of the Plainfield Police Department and Gary organized rides in May from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Washington, D.C. for National Police Week. After those first two years, Gary decided to bring the ride home to Indiana in the hopes of being able to do more to support law enforcement survivors in his home state.
In 2003 Lt. Dudley and a group of law enforcement officers and friends of law enforcement departed the Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters Memorial in downtown Indianapolis for a 13 day, nearly 1,000 mile ride around the perimeter of the state of Indiana. The purpose of this ride was to raise awareness of survivor issues through promoting the Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and to raise money for the chapter's survivor support programs.
Sadly, Lt. Gary Dudley and retired Lake County Police Chief Gary Martin gave their lives in the line of duty while participating in the ride on August 22, 2006, when a large box truck crashed into the rear of the support truck that was following the cyclists as they rode south on State Road 63 near Perrysville, Indiana. Since that day, the cyclists
continue to carry on Lt. Dudley's vision and legacy in supporting law enforcement survivors.
To date, the cycling event has raised approximately $300,000 for IN C.O.P.S.
For more information on the ride please visit the Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation web-site at: http://home.comcast.net/~copscycling4survivors/site/?/home/ or Rich Crawford, President of Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation, Inc. at 317-650-8961.
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