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Last updated on Monday, July 15, 2013
(UNDATED) - A fallen correctional officer from Jasonville will be honored Monday with a memorial stop by the “Cops Cycling for Survivors” at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisle.
Nick Schneider, Assistant Editor of the Greene County Daily World reports, WVCF Officer Tim Betts, who passed away last August, is being honored this year along with Lake County Jail Corrections Officer Britney Meux.
Officer Betts' photo is wrapped around one side of the riders' support vehicle.
Correctional Officer Betts, 51, was escorting an unruly offender to segregation after responding to a cell house incident when he collapsed August 26, 2012.
The Greene County native had 15 years of service at the maximum-security facility.
The 11th annual 13-day, 1,000 mile bicycle tour of Indiana by Cops Cycling for Survivors serves two purposes: to raise awareness for officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty and to raise funds for the families of those officers that have been left behind, according to Rich Larsen, who serves as WVCF public information officer.
The cyclists are expected to arrive at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility shortly after 1 p.m.
All available WVCF staff will line the flag draped facility entrance to welcome the 51 cyclists when they arrive.
"Several members of Officer Betts' family will join us for this special tribute to our fallen Correctional Officer," Larsen said.
Betts began his career at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in May of 1997. He had received numerous letters of appreciation and commendation for his outstanding service and dedication to duty, Larsen said.
Superintendent Richard Brown added, "Tim Betts was a consummate professional and a true role model. His co-workers knew they could depend on him, that Tim would cover their back if anything happened. A young officer told me he hoped that when he is 51 years old he will be like the husband, father and grandfather that Tim Betts."
In September, Betts will also be honored with his name inscribed on the Indiana Law Enforcement and Firefighters Memorial in Indianapolis.
The Indiana State Police will be represented by Trooper Erik Smith at Monday's ceremony. Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Bruce Lemmon will take part in the brief ceremony, which will include a donation from the WVCF Inside Out Dads & PLUS programs to the group.
Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation had it's inaugural 13-day tour around Indiana in July of 2012. However, the spirit of this ride began many years before. In 2001 a group of police officers decided to support survivors by riding their bicycles from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. to honor officers who had been killed in the line of duty and to support their survivors.
Two people who were integral to the success of Cops Cycling were Lt. Gary Dudley of the Indiana State Police and Retired Chief Gary Martin of the Lake County Police Department.
Lt. Dudley took the organizational and emotional lead and kept the wheels rolling after the first two years riding to Washington, D.C. Wanting to do more to support survivors on a local level, Gary brought the ride home to Indiana.
On Aug. 22, 2006, Lt. Dudley and Chief Martin were both killed during the ride when a large box truck struck the rear of the support truck, pushing the support truck into the cyclists.
Several of the cyclists who had participated in the ride for many years and were cycling the day of the crash determined wanted to keep Lt. Dudley and Chief Martin's memories and motivation alive and have continued the yearly rides.
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