Tallahassee and Leon Co. law enforcement join Police Unity Tour ride for Police Week
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCTV) - Around 1,800 riders and support staff cycled through Washington, D.C. Thursday afternoon to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall as part of the Police Unity Tour.
The group was established in 1997 with just 18 riders. Fast forward to 2022, and the organization now has nine chapters across the country.
As WCTV’s Abby Walton shares, that includes one from Tallahassee, made up of officers from the Tallahassee Police Department, deputies from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol troopers.
Founder Pat Montuore started the Police Unity Tour to honor the fallen during Police Week.
The ride itself isn’t easy.
Chapters start in their respective states and ride over a four-day period.
Each chapter cycles around 100 miles each day.
This year, from Tallahassee, there are several riders and support staff participating.
Montuore said those support staff, like TPD Officer Tyler Poole, are the backbone of the ride.
Support staff help arrange hotels, food and more, so riders can focus on their mission.
Officer Poole has taken part in the Police Unity Tour for the past five years.
He said his favorite part is seeing the love from other parts of the country.
“To know that there are other people out there that care. Especially, we’re in Florida and we’re going up to Virginia and D.C., knowing that there’s other people that care about the sacrifices made in our hometown, our home state, just like we are for theirs,” Officer Poole said.
During the ride, cyclists wear bracelets and mementos to honor the fallen, connecting with those families once in D.C.
But they also do something that few know about.
“Every rider carries a dollar. We say, ‘You got your dollar?’ ‘I got my dollar.’ And then, they bring that dollar all the way to D.C. and that’s the donation for the rider that couldn’t ride,” Montuore said.
Montuore and Officer Poole said it truly takes a village to put on this ride.
When they finally got to D.C., both said there’s nothing like the emotions of finally getting to the memorial and finishing your ride for those names on the wall and their families.
You can learn more about the Police Unity Tour here.
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