CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Chattanooga Police Officers are embarking on a cycling tour to honor fallen officers.
On Wednesday morning, Chattanooga Police officers packed up and got ready to participate in the 2019 Law Enforcement United’s Road to Hope ride.
“We are here to honor those that died in the line of duty as well as support the family members and left them know that they are not forgotten and that they will always be remembered,” Lt. Heather Williams said.
This year the CPD team is riding in two separate groups. The group riding from Roanoke, Virginia left Wednesday morning and the one riding from Atlantic City, New Jersey left on Monday.
They will end their journey at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Officers trained and raised more than 16 thousand dollars for their ride.
“The hardest part for me each day getting back on your bike and it is just not very comfortable, but in the reality of it we start thinking of that person that we are riding for,” Sgt. Justin Kilgore said.
Officer Nicholas Galinger’s name was added to the back of their trailer this year. While on duty, he was hit and killed by a car in February.
“It is special. It is special for all of those officers that we personally all knew. It does make it difficult at times, at the same time it is a great way to honor them,” Sgt. Kilgore said.
More than 550 officers from across the country are participating in this event.
“All the communities are coming together and remembering those that died in the line of duty and supporting to the family members and that is what this is all about. It is not about us it is about them,” Lt. Williams said.
The Chattanooga Police Chief says this shows officers are family.
“When one of us loses an officer, when one of the agencies suffers a loss we all come together in not only healing each other, but supporting one another. So I think the ride this week and the events in Washington dc are indicative of that spirit not only here in Chattanooga, but across the country,” Chief David Roddy said.
The group will start biking to Washington, D.C. on Friday.