Why the Police Unity Tour matters to me: These are heroes
If you've been listening this week, you know I'm a huge supporter of the Police Unity Tour, a 320-mile bicycle ride from Florham Park, N.J. to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Every single rider is honoring an individual police officer who died in the line of duty. They're heroes who don't get enough credit. We spend so much time focusing on the occasional bad cop, or the cop who makes a mistake — and not nearly enough on the day-to-day heroes who risk their personal safety for us over and over again.
That's why I started Blue Friday. And that's why I'm mourning along with the rest of the state after we lost retired Lt. Joseph Franklin, a former Roxbury officer who'd been fatally injured in a bicycle pileup, as state PBA President Patrick Colligan told me on the air earlier this week.
I'm grateful for the work these officers do every day, and I'm grateful to Colligan for checking in all week and keeping us informed. Thursday, he called us from Baltimore (by the way, Pat — we ran into a technical glitch using your photos and videos, but we appreciate you sending them along!). And it occurred to me — that's a long way from New Jersey. One hundred miles a day is no joke!
The secret? Colligan said spin classes through the winter and regular bike rides are a big, big help. He's been doing the ride since 2009. He said there's usually a few dropouts. Wednesday, the riders did about 107 miles, most of it in the rain, some of it over steep hills.
"It was a miserable riding day," Colligan said.
But as he and I both agree, it was more than worth it, to honor the fallen officers.
You can support the Police Unity Tour online. I encourage you to make a donation if you can.