MSP Troopers Ride for Fallen Officers


HAGERSTOWN, Md. - It's a brotherhood that's hard to break and every year, thousands of police brothers and sisters band together for the annual Unity Tour. Riders cycle into Washington, D.C. to raise money for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum and awareness for fallen officers.

They honor the cycle of life and death by enforcing their bond with fellow officers. This year, two local Maryland State Troopers will join this bond.

"You never want to forget the fallen police officers in the line of duty. So you could ride for the same people every year just to make sure they don't get forgotten," said Trooper First Class J R Bowers with Maryland State Police-Hagerstown.

Trooper Bowers will be riding in honor of Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Nicholson who was shot and killed while responding a violent domestic disturbance in December 2007.  A constant reminder that even smaller police departments suffer major loses.

"You have the larger police departments where more police officers are killed in the line of duty," said Trooper Bowers. "It happens all across the county even to the smallest police department. They lose lives every day in this type of work."

Trooper Talbert understands those loses. His own father died from complications after being hit by a drunk driver. He has felt the support of fellow officers who presented him with a memorial bracelet two years ago after they rode in the event.

This year, he will return this gesture of support to another family who lost a loved one. He's riding in honor of Deputy Chad Key from Grayson County in Texas, who also was hit by a drunk driver.

"It's just very emotional for me but you can feel the sense of appreciate not only from family but also from people who knew deputy key," said Trooper First Class William Talbert with Maryland State Police-Hagerstown.

Every riders has raised at least $1750 and trained for months for the multiple day bike ride. But they said it's 280 mile ride worth traveling to honor the sacrifices of those no longer with us. Something these officers hope to continue each year.

"So my personal goal is to ride every year as many times as I can in honor of a police officer that was struck and killed by a drunk driver," said Trooper Talbert. "I'm very passionate about DUI enforcement here in the state of Maryland and I got that from my father so i intend to honor that with other officers."

Riding for those who died keeping their memory alive.

The troopers will start this ride in Philadelphia and travel 280 miles to Washington, D.C by next Monday.

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