INDIANAPOLIS — Beginning Monday, a group of active and retired police officers, law enforcement survivors, law enforcement family members and friends of law enforcement will bike approximately 1,000 miles around the state of Indiana to honor fallen law enforcement officers.
A departure ceremony will be held at 8 a.m. Monday at the Police and Firefighters Memorial on the capitol grounds in downtown Indianapolis.
Indiana State Police trooper and Cops Cycling for Survivors treasurer Kevin Getz says he wants to give back to those who have lost someone and remind them their loved one is not forgotten.
"One of the things I really learned that has been passed down to me from what [Lieutenant] Gary Dudley had always told the cyclists before he died is 'your pain and suffering for 13 days is nothing,'" Getz said. "Yeah the heat's miserable, the hills are terrible, but it's temporary, it's over with, after 13 days it's done. A survivor has to deal with the pain every day of not having their officer come home ... that really drives me to want to do this."
Getz says he wants the survivors and affected families to know they aren't forgotten on the ordinary days, and not just the anniversaries and holidays. It also allows for the officer's name to be perpetuated.
"It's important for us to remember the sacrifices that were made my them, their families and their affected agencies," Getz said. "It's really an expression of our love for those survivors and the love they have for us ... it's an expression of we will be there for you, and I think that is really what's so important."
The following officers will receive a special tribute on this year's ride:
- Officer Kenneth Lester, Richmond Police Department, End of Watch February 10, 2020
- Officer Breann Leath, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, End of Watch April 9, 2020
- Sergeant Te’Juan Johnson, Charlestown Police Department, End of Watch December 2, 2020.
Special honors are being given to Indiana's two 2019 line of duty deaths since they could not be properly honored due to the pandemic.
- David Hewitt, Rising Sun Police Department, End of Watch February 13, 2019
- Trooper Peter “Bo” Stephan, Indiana State Police, End of Watch October 11, 2019.
Day 1, Monday, July 12 - Indianapolis to Richmond
Day 2, Tuesday, July 13 – Richmond to Bluffton
Day 3, Wednesday, July 14 - Bluffton to Angola
Day 4, Thursday, July 15 - Angola to South Bend
Day 5, Friday, July 16 – South Bend to Merrillville
Day 6, Saturday, July 17 - Merrillville to Kentland
Day 7, Sunday, July 18 - Kentland to Terre Haute
Day 8, Monday, July 19 - Terre Haute to Princeton
Day 9, Tuesday, July 20 - Princeton to Huntingburg
Day 10, Wednesday, July 21 - Huntingburg to Jeffersonville
Day 11, Thursday, July 22 - Jeffersonville to Madison
Day 12, Friday, July 23 - Madison to Bloomington
Day 13, Saturday, July 24 - Bloomington to Indianapolis