(INDIANAPOLIS) - Monday, July 14, will mark the start of the 12th annual Cops Cycling for Survivors group bicycle ride around Indiana.
A departure ceremony will be held at 8:30 a.m. EDT at the Law Enforcement/Firefighter Memorial, adjacent to the State Capitol, in downtown Indianapolis. This year there are 66 cyclists participating in the ride. They will depart shortly after the keynote comments of Deputy Chief of Operations Brian Mohone of the Indianapolis Metro Police Department. Their 9 a.m. departure from the memorial will take them east toward Greenfield, Indiana on the first leg of journey that will last 13 days and cover nearly 1,000 miles bicycling the perimeter of Indiana.
Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation, Inc., are made up of active and retired police officers, law enforcement survivors, law enforcement family members 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. Previously raised funds have been directly donated to 20 different survivor support organizations, scholarships and camps held in memory of Indiana Law Enforcement Officers who have been killed in the line of duty (see link: http://www.copscycling4survivors.org/about-us.html).
This year the cyclists are recognizing the sacrifice made by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's Officer Rod L. Bradway, end of watch September 20, 2013. Officer Rod Bradway was shot and killed while responding to a domestic dispute call. Upon arrival, Officer Bradway heard cries for help and made entry into the apartment where he came under fire and was mortally wounded. Officer Bradway was able to return fire on the subject and is credited with saving the life of the domestic dispute victim. Officer Bradway was transported to Wishard Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds several hours later. Officer Bradway was a five-year veteran of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and is survived by his wife and two children.
The ride is scheduled to conclude on the afternoon of Saturday, July 26, 2014, 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. To see the route the cyclists will follow, please visit their website and click on the route or calendar tabs.
Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation, Incorporated was granted 501(c) 3 status as a not-for-profit in 2011, and the inaugural 13 day tour around Indiana took place 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, Indiana to Washington, D.C. to honor officers who had been killed in the line of duty and to support their survivors. The ride has gone through many changes over the years, but one thing has remained constant...the cyclists' dedication to honoring fallen law enforcement heroes and supporting their survivors left behind.
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 August 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 to keep Lt. Dudley and Chief Martin's memories and motivation alive. Those memories and motivation have developed into what the ride is today, Lt. Dudley's vision and legacy in supporting law enforcement survivors. To date, the cycling event has raised over $300,000 for IN Concerns of Police Survivors and now other survivor funds and organizations.
For more information on the ride please visit the Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation web-site at: http://www.copscycling4survivors.org/ or Rich Crawford, President of Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation, Inc. at 317-650-8961.
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