Cops Cycling for Survivors announced plans for their 20th annual bicycle tour of Indiana as well as unveiled the memorial photos on their support truck this week, National Police Week. The group, whose aim is to raise awareness of and actively support survivors of Indiana law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, will bike nearly 1,000 miles over 13 days in July to honor fallen law enforcement officers and their survivors.
In 2002, Cops Cycling for Survivors began with a ride to Washington, D.C. to honor fallen officers. The cyclists now ride through Indiana meeting with survivors of officers to support them as they continue to deal with the loss of loved ones. The group honors the more than 400 Indiana officers killed in the line of duty by reading a memorial for each officer during the tour. Cops Cycling for Survivors vows to never let Indiana’s fallen heroes be forgotten and to support the survivors of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of the state.
Cops Cycling for Survivors make every attempt to contact survivors, including family, co-workers, descendants, and others, of fallen officers but may not have contact information for some. Survivors are asked to be in touch with the group at Cops Cycling for Survivors, PO Box 597, Ellettsville, IN 47429, by phone at 812-727-0725, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested cyclists may also contact the group for more information on joining the ride for all or parts of the ride. Cyclists include survivors, law enforcement officers, and friends of law enforcement.
In addition to memorializing Indiana’s fallen officers, Cops Cycling for Survivors raises financial support for survivors. Proceeds from the annual ride provide line of duty death benefits for primary survivors as well as fund scholarships, camps, and other avenues of support for survivors. The group also assists Line of Duty Death Justice as survivors work through years of court dates, including parole hearings and appeals. More information and a donation page are found athttp://www.copscycling4survivors.com/. Cops Cycling for Survivors was granted 501(c) 3 status as a not-for-profit in late 2011 and is no longer directly affiliated with Indiana Concerns of Police Survivors (IN COPS).
The 2021 Cops Cycling for Survivors truck was also unveiled this week. While the group rides in support and memory of all fallen officers, each year the support truck honors officers killed in the line of duty from the previous year. This year’s truck is in special memory of Police Officer Kenneth Reid Lester, Richmond Police Department, end of watch February 10, 2020; Officer Breann R. Leath, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, end of watch April 9, 2020; and, Detective Sergeant Te’JuanFontrese “T.J.” Johnson, Charlestown Police Department, end of watch December 2, 2020.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 which affected the ride, also pictured on the truck are the two 2019 line of duty deaths, Chief of Police David P. Hewitt, Rising Sun Police Department, end of watch February 13, 2019; and, Trooper Peter “Bo” Stephan, Indiana State Police, end of watch October 11, 2019. Recent line of duty deaths in 2021 will receive special recognition next year.
Dates and route locations for the 2021 Cops Cycling for Survivors ride are:
As the group rides through locations, area residents are encouraged to show their support for law enforcement officers and the survivors of fallen heroes in whatever meaningful manners may arise.