INDIANAPOLIS — Monday marks the start of the 10th annual Cops Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride across and around Indiana. A departure ceremony will be conducted 9 a.m. at the Law Enforcement/Firefighter Memorial, adjacent to the state capitol in downtown Indianapolis.
The 53 cyclists participating in the ride will depart shortly after the keynote comments of Chief John Plasse from the Terre Haute Police Department. Their 9:30 a.m. departure from the memorial will take them east toward Greenfield on the first leg of journey, which will last 13 days and cover nearly 1,000 miles bicycling the perimeter of Indiana.
Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation, Inc., are a group 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 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. A portion of the funds raised directly supports the Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors.
This year the cyclists are recognizing the sacrifice made by Terre Haute Police Officer Brent Daniel Long. Long was shot and killed on July 11, 2011, as he and other officers served a felony warrant at a house in Terre Haute.
Long’s canine “Shadow” was also shot but survived. Long had served with the Terre Haute Police Department for six years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
The ride is scheduled to conclude on the afternoon of July 21 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. when a donation check will be presented to the Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors. To see the route the cyclists will follow, visit their website at home.comcast.net/~copscycling4survivors/site/?/page/Route/. Additional information on specific locations of meals and overnights can be found by clicking on the Events tab of the website.
This ride was started in 2003 by Lt. Gary Dudley of the Indiana State Police. In 2001 and ‘02 Lt. Bruce Baker of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Officer Todd Knowles of the Plainfield Police Department, and Dudley organized rides in May from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. for National Police Week. After those first two years, Dudley decided to bring the ride to Indiana in the hopes of being able to do more to support law enforcement survivors in his home state.
In 2003 Dudley and a group of law enforcement officers and friends of law enforcement departed the Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters Memorial in downtown Indianapolis for a 13-day, nearly 1,000-mile ride around the perimeter of the state. The purpose of this ride was to raise awareness of survivor issues through promoting the Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) and to raise money for the chapter’s survivor support programs. Dudley and retired Lake County Police Chief Gary Martin gave their lives in the line of duty while participating in the ride on Aug. 22, 2006, when a large box truck crashed into the rear of the support truck that was following the cyclists as they rode south on State Road 63 near Perrysville.
Since that day, the cyclists continue to carry on Dudley’s vision and legacy in supporting law enforcement survivors. To date, the cycling event has raised approximately $300,000 for IN C.O.P.S.
For more information on the ride, visit the Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation website at http://home.comcast.net/~copscycling4survivors/site/?/home/ or call Rich Crawford, president of Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation, Inc., at 650-8961.