Today, I began my second adventure, the “Law Enforcement United Ruff Ride.” After hitching a ride with a friend from Nashville to Cumberland, Maryland, to rest up a bit, I joined the Law Enforcement United group to begin the journey from Cumberland to Washington, D.C. The Ruff Ride is the first memorial ride that honors our K-9 partners that have died in the line of duty.
The first leg of our ride took us from Cumberland to Hancock, Maryland, which is about a 40-mile ride. There is heavy rain that’s hitting the area, so we are going to be delayed for Day 2 to let the worst of it pass.
Today was one of the tough days. Cold, wet and rainy. We lost about half of the cyclists at lunchtime due to concerns for hyperthermia. As much as we all want to ride every mile, you have to stay healthy.
While we were cycling today Lieutenant Kevin Mainhart was killed while conducting a traffic stop in Chickalah, Arkansas. Once again a horrible reminder of why we ride.
We will meet the families of fallen officers Friday when we arrive in Washington. It is a mix of feelings. We will be happy for the safe completion of a challenging event, but sad about meeting families who lost loved ones. We hope that we are able to ride next year for fewer officers.
I hope everyone attends police week at least once in their career. It reminds us of the dangers we face every day in our chosen profession. We are a brother and sisterhood not just coworkers.
I am privileged to represent HSI in honoring the fallen.