Issue link: http://let.epubxp.com/i/536817

36 Law Enforcement Technology July 2015 www.officer.com F irst things first. The primary purpose of the Police Unity Tour is to raise awareness of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. Second is to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial and Museum. But what future riders need to know is that the Unity Tour is so much more than a bike ride or a fund-raiser. When you choose to sign up it means you are willing and wanting to dedicate a lot of time, money and part of yourself for something bigger. You have the option to sign up with one of nine chapters. Each runs things a little differently, and we all take different routes to DC. In each of those chapters there is a need for support personnel, motor officers, and bike riders. Everyone has to fund raise the minimum amount of money their chapter requires. Each person must dedicate themselves to the message that we have not forgotten the officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice. To attend and participate in the tour you must be either an active or retired police officer or a surviving family mem- ber (Survivor) of a fallen officer. This is one of the issues that really makes the experience special and unique. When I decided to participate in the tour this year I signed up with Chapter 8, the Florida Chapter. This was my second year riding and I signed up as a rider again as I have really begun to love cycling, and it's a great way to stay in shape. Once you sign up around the first week of September you then set up an online fund-raising page through First Giving. Each member of Chapter 8 is required to raise a minimum of $2,000. That cost covers the expenses of the tour and a donation to the Law Enforcement Riding in to the memorial almost makes you feel that by bringing these memorial bracelets to the wall, that you are helping lay the offcer to rest. It is a journey of respect and something that is diffcult for many of us to put into words. Riders stop en route to pay respects to area family members of fallen officers. An even stream of blue A Chapter 8 Unity Tour rider documents his cycling tour to D.C. for the annual Police Week memorial Look for Part Two on Officer.com/12084881 COVER STORY By Chris Backhaus

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