Police Unity Tour, Born In Morris County, Rides Again to Washington DC
Published on May 11, 2022
25-Year-Old Tradition Honors Fallen Law Enforcement
Morris County law enforcement officers are among an estimated 1,500 Police Unity Tour riders who set out yesterday from Parsippany Township on the annual 300-mile ride to Washington, D.C. in tribute to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and their survivors.
Sunday is National Peace Officers Memorial Day and kicks off National Police Week 2022, which will be observed from May 15 through May 21.
The annual ride was initiated 25 years ago by former Florham Park Police Chief Patrick Montuore, and this year the cyclists are paying tribute to the 21,910 fallen heroes nationwide whose names are inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, located a few blocks from the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The ride's motto is, "We ride for those who died."
“I was honored to participate in the four-day bike journey several years ago and remember sharing stories with my brother and sister officers. Each of us wore a bracelet commemorating a specific officer who perished,” said Morris County Sheriff Jim Gannon. “Today, as we remember those who have fallen, I am extremely saddened to learn that the New Jersey Supreme Court has decided to parole Clark Squire, who along with Joanne Chesimard killed Trooper Werner Foerster. What a travesty to do so, especially this week, after the parole board itself found this man who was sentenced to life in prison to still be without remorse for the slaughter.”
National Peace Officers Memorial Day was first proclaimed in 1962 by then-President John F. Kennedy and later established by a joint resolution of Congress. May 15 is a day for honoring police officers who gave their lives for the safety and protection of others, and law enforcement officials ask that flags be lowered to half-staff this Sunday to show respect for the fallen officers.
Each year, cyclists from across the United States unite for the massive Police Unity Tour, which culminates at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Participants who took off from the Parsippany Hilton yesterday will arrive tomorrow, and they will attend a candlelight vigil at the memorial on Friday, May 13.
Morris County Undersheriff Lt. Mark Spitzer is among the cyclists, and he was visited at the send off in Parsippany yesterday by Sheriff Gannon and Undersheriff Rich Rose.
“God bless the fallen, may they rest in eternal peace," Gannon said.