The Police Unity Tour began in 1998 with only 19 riders. It has now grown to over 2500 riders nation wide, and since its inception has raised $2.6 million dollars. This money goes toward the Police Memorial Monument. Every officer who has been killed in the line of duty has their name etched in the rock so we never forget their ultimate sacrifice.
Police Memorial week begins every year on May 15.
This will be my eighth year participating. We begin our journey in northern New Jersey, riding 300 miles in four days. Several other Chapters begin their ride in other states. We join together in Washington, D.C. and finish up the last 5 miles riding together into the Police Memorial.
This year will be extra special for me as we have Jessica, the widow of Chad Parque, one of our department’s own fallen officers, riding with us.
I will be riding for Charleston Hartfield who was tragically killed protecting his wife while attending the Route 91 concert in Las Vegas. His wife Veronica and her family will also be waiting for us.
Our team will meet with both families and present each one of them a memorial bracelet. Every officer who has been killed will then be remembered as we place placards next to their name.
Walking through the memorial is an emotional time. There will be letters written by small children who lost their mom or dad. There will be empty shot glasses where squad members toast their brother or sister. There will be pictures of babies born who have never met their mom or dad.
Our motto is “We ride for those who died”. Every officer is remembered and will never be forgotten.
About the author: Sergeant Shellie Clark has been with the Las Vegas, NV Metropolitan Police Department for over 26 years. She’ll be retiring this month. We honor and congratulate her for her service and wish her the best in her upcoming endeavors.