2019 ushered in the 10th anniversary of Law Enforcement United’s Road to Hope bicycle ride, which honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and remembers the survivors left behind. Now in my third year supporting this event as a volunteer (with many thanks to the Clark Nexsen Foundation for sponsoring my involvement), I continue to be struck by the poignant meaning behind this long ride and the determination of its participants. As a retired auxiliary police officer, each year reinforces my belief in the critical role of law enforcement in keeping our communities safe and the inherent risk involved in this role.
This year, the Chesapeake, VA contingent departed on the trek to Washington, D.C. with significant growth in ridership – from a historic average of 350 cyclists to 450 in 2019. I served on Food Team B and found myself in the unique position of working with a number of survivors honoring their loved ones through volunteerism. Of all the years I’ve participated, this was perhaps the most impactful. Through working closely with the survivors and hearing their stories, the Road to Hope event became even more personal to me. I finished the multi-day ride with a strengthened sense of connection to the event’s purpose, and I can only hope the following photos begin to capture its meaning to all of us who are connected to the law enforcement community: