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Tampa special agent biking from Florida to D.C. for Police Week

TAMPA, Fla. - Ellen Pierson, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Tampa, has been biking for more than a week from Florida to Washington, D.C., in support of National Police Week, which is being held May 9-15.

Pierson, who started her bike ride in Jacksonville, Fla., on April 30, will arrive in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, May 12, for the Police Unity Tour Arrival Ceremony.

Her trek is part of the Police Unity Tour, a National Police Week activity that has been growing in strength and numbers since 1997. Tour participants don their helmets and bike ride for miles to raise awareness of the law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.

This year is the ninth consecutive year Pierson has participated in the tour, which takes her through six states.

Participants around the country are joining the ride at different geographical points, but all are ultimately destined for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington on May 12. Escorted by police for safety reasons, the riders average 100 miles a day through wind, rain, hail and sunshine and stay in hotels along the way.

"I cannot express what it means to the family members we meet along the way," Pierson said. "They are all so very grateful to us for honoring and remembering their loved one. We have met grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters and children of the fallen."

More information about the Police Unity Tour is at http://www.policeunitytour.com.