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Law Enforcement Community Honors Fallen Officers

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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WOAY) – A team of bikers with Law Enforcement United are making their way from St. Louis to Washington D.C. in a 1,400 mile trip to honor fallen officers and meet their families.

“It doesn’t matter if their loss was their great-great-grandfather 150 years ago or if it was as recent as a couple weeks ago,” said Tucson police officer Chris Potter. “We are doing this ride to honor their family member and to support them as survivor family members for as long as we can.” 

Active and retired law enforcement officers have spent several days every year for the last ten years biking in memory of fellow officers. Along the way, the team stops to meet surviving family members of those lost in the line of duty.

For Beckley, the bike ride hits close to home. Detective Corporal Charles Smith was shot and killed in 2006 while participating in an undercover narcotics operation.

“We remember him and how dedicated he was and committed to his profession,” said chief of police Lonnie Christian. “He was very community-oriented, so we remember that when we remember his legacy.”

Smith is one of many officers honored with a memorial that will stand outside the police department’s new building. The memorial will feature a $42,000 granite lion statue. Christian said the project will be completely funded by donations. One third of their goal has been met so far.



Kassie Simmons

Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.


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