Police officers in Egg Harbor Township are ready to roll…and set out Wednesday afternoon for Chesapeake Virginia, where they will begin a 250 mile bike ride to Washington D.C.
Officer David Heritage, a patrolman with the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, said, "This year we have approximately 20 members from team New Jersey, or team EHT."
Law Enforcement United consists of federal, state and local law enforcement officers, survivors and civilian support staff whose mission is to raise public awareness of officers who have died in the line of duty and to help raise money for the families of these fallen officers.
Wife of officer David Heritage, Jennifer Heritage, explained, "It's very honoring and very humbling, you know, he puts a lot of effort and he puts a lot of hard time into raising money and putting out awareness for fallen officers and their families."
After all of the riders arrive in Washington D.C., approximately 150 fallen officers from the past year will be honored and will be added to the list of names at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. "There's 19,000+ names on the memorial down in D.C.; men and women from municipal all the way up to the federal level that paid the ultimate sacrifice," said officer Heritage.
Family members say supporting this cause is easy because they know that their loved ones put their lives on the line every time they go to work. Jennifer Heritage added, "It's very nerve-wracking, you know, making sure that he has the right frame of mind going to work every day and every night and hoping you don't get a knock on your door or a phone call with the unfortunate news." David said, "We bring awareness and raise money for the families to let them know they're not forgotten."
The ride will end at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on Monday May 13th and will be celebrated by candlelight vigil to honor all of the fallen officers.
The money raised by the Egg Harbor Township police officers will go to C.O.P.S. which is ‘Concerns of Police Survivors,' and ‘Officer Down Memorial Page."