Connecticut Officers Ride in Annual Police Unity Tour Ride

Law enforcement officers from across the state are riding in the Annual Police Unity Tour Ride, a 300-mile ride to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Law enforcement officers from Hartford and across the state took off on a journey from Hartford to Washington D.C. Wednesday as part of the Annual Police Unity Tour Ride in honor of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

It’s a 300-mile ride from here to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, and it will take them three days to get there. Those riding say it’s the least they can do to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Mayor Luke Bronin spoke at the ceremony.

“I want to first wish everyone who is riding a safe journey down to Washington,” Bronin said in his remarks at the official send-off Wednesday morning. “We are proud to have you represent the city of Hartford and representing the state of Connecticut.”

Ten Hartford police officers, joined by Connecticut State Police, UConn, and Windsor Locks officers will take part in the symbolic cycling journey this year.

“Every officer is riding in memory of somebody,” said Lt. Paul Cicero of Hartford Police. “They have their photograph on their bike and they will be with them the whole ride.”

“I think it’s important to always remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” said Hartford Police Officer Amanda Lisgow. This is her second year taking part.

Connecticut’s officers will join law enforcement from across the country on their trek to the memorial, as they do every year.

“It was such an awesome last year to meet everyone from all over the country, everyone has their own little stories,” Lisgow said. “I plan on doing it every year as long as I can.”

Hartford Officer Cesidio Palmieri keeps coming back, too. This is his 15th year riding in the annual event.

“I got my team that motivates me and also the families that were riding for,” Palmieri said.

The Fenton family of Rocky Hill is one of those families. This year marks 50 years since John Fenton’s father, Hartford Police Officer Francis X. Fenton, was shot and killed on the job. John was 11 years old at the time.

“I just wanted to show up with my wife and show our appreciation,” said Fenton.

He says that since his father’s passing, the Hartford Police Department has been like a second family to him.

Today, he met the officers who will ride to the nation’s capital in memory of his father, and so many others.

“It’s emotional. We just want to say thank you we appreciate all the work that they put in,” he said.

These fallen officers are remembered and honored year-round. Their photos hang up on the walls of the Hartford Police Department, so that today’s officers know who they are, remember them and carry on their legacy in the work they do every day.

This year’s riders will meet over 2,500 other officers from the Northeast region in Florham Park, N.J. and ride to the capital together from there. In addition to raising awareness, the Police Unity Tour raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum in Washington D.C.

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