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.