07/27/11 A pre-ride ceremony was held at 8:30 this morning by the Law Enforcement/Firefighter Memorial, adjacent to the State Capitol, to send off 60 plus cyclists participating in the 7th Annual COPS bicycle ride. Speaking at this morning’s ceremony was the Chief of Police from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police, Paul Ciesielski, and Major Derek Towle from the Greenfield Police Department.
The riders pedaled from the memorial shortly after 9:00 this morning, marking the start of a 13 day and nearly 1,000 mile long bicycle ride around Indiana. Cops Cycling for Indiana C.O.P.S. are a group made up 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 of the public about the sacrifices made by Hoosier law enforcement families across Indiana. Funds raised from this event are used to aid surviving spouses and children of officers killed in the line-of-duty. Such aid includes counseling and helping to defer costs associated with traveling to Washington D.C. for National Police Week for the annual service to recognize officers who died in the line-of-duty the previous year.
This year the riders are recognizing the sacrifice made by two Indiana police officers who lost their lives in the line-of-duty since the 2010 ride: Greenfield Police Officer William Edward (Will) Phillips III, who died in the line-of-duty on September 30, 2011 and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer David S. Moore, who died in the line-of-duty on January 26, 2011.
A hallmark of the annual ride is visiting the police agency headquarters of the officers being honored. The first stop for the riders this year will be IMPD’s North District to honor IMPD Officer David Moore. From there the cyclists will ride to the Greenfield Police Department to honor Greenfield Officer Will Phillips. Lunch is planned at the FOP Lodge in Greenfield, IN and then the cyclists will continue to Richmond, IN to conclude the first day of the ride. To see the route the cyclists will follow, please visit this website: http://home.comcast.net/~copscycling4incops/site/.
The ride is scheduled to conclude on the afternoon of Saturday, August 6, 2011 at the Crown Hill Cemetery, Hero’s Section, where the riders will reunite with their families and other law enforcement survivors. There will be a short ceremony beginning at 4:00 pm when a donation check will be presented to the Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors.
The Cops Cycling for Indiana C.O.P.S. ride was created in 2004 by Indiana State Police Lieutenant Gary Dudley. His vision was to support the Indiana C.O.P.S. chapter and raise awareness about the sacrifice made by law enforcement survivors around the state. Lt. Dudley lost his life in the line-of-duty on August 22, 2006, while participating in the Cops Cycling event. His vision lives on today as the participating cyclists continue – in his memory – the passion for supporting survivors of fallen police officers. To date, Cops Cycling has raised in excess of $250,000 for the families, friends and co-workers of fallen officers.