Prior to the ride departing, all riders were called into a meeting to honor the nation’s colors presented by the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Department Honor Guard, receive an update on two Texas law enforcement officials who were shot in the line of duty overnight. One of the officers involved in that incident, Detective Charles Dinwiddie of the Killeen, Texas Police Department succumbed to his injuries on Sunday, May 11th 2014.

According to information posted on the Officer Down Memorial Website, there have been 41 line-of-duty deaths among Law Enforcement officials in 2014, an increase of 3% over last year. There have been five line of duty deaths nationwide since May 3rd, 2014 as reported by the Officer Down website, one from a gunshot, one due to a heart attack and the remaining three were struck by automobiles while the officers were performing their jobs. 

 

At 7:30 AM, sirens began to wail and the rumble of a dozen police Harley/Davidson motorcycles shook the ground as the ride began. The ride began with the cheers of onlookers, family members and supporters as the bicyclists rode off in a large pack, followed by a mechanical support vehicle from Bikebeat, a Hampton Roads bicycle store, that was equipped with spare parts and staff technicians to repair any flat tires or broken chains along the way. Behind the van from Bikebeat came support teams and volunteer rescue squad ambulances from Virginia Beach. 

The ride to Washington D.C. takes three days to complete with all proceeds (over one million dollars in the past five years) helping support the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) which provides counseling and outreach programs designed to support the surviving family and extended family of Law Enforcement Officials that have lost their lives in the line of duty as well as the continued operation of the Officer Down Memorial Page. 

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