CHESAPEAKE, Va. — On Wednesday, May 10, hundreds of bikers embarked on a 250-mile trek to honor fallen police officers who were killed in the line of duty.
The three-day bicycle tour, called “Road to Hope,” is organized by Law Enforcement United. The nonprofit aims to commemorate those who lost their lives protecting others by spearheading fundraising efforts to support the families of fallen officers.
In addition to putting on the annual Road to Hope ride, the organization helps fund the Officer Down Memorial Page and the COPS Kids Camp, which is a camp for kids who have lost a parent or legal guardian in the line of duty.
John Mapes, a retired Sergeant from the Virginia Beach Sheriff's Office, works with Law Enforcement United. He says the charity-driven organization has given away over $7 million since its existence.
"It's really important to make sure that the kids are taken care of, and this is just something that's near and dear to our hearts," said Mapes.
At the Delta Hotel, News 3’s Penny Kmitt spoke with some of the bicyclists participating in the ride. Before they began the three-day journey, many spoke about the importance of honoring fallen law enforcement officers.
"I'm riding for my brother, and I've been riding for 11 years in memory of him," said cyclist Rebecca Mihovich. "He was killed in the line of duty in Washington D.C., and this is how I come to peace with everything that's happened."
Around 7 a.m. on Wednesday, about 200 cyclists departed Chesapeake to begin the 250-mile ride. Branches from Roanoke, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are also making the journey to the nation's capital.