This week, five officers returned home after biking nearly 300 miles to Washington, D.C as part of the 2012 Police Unity Tour. The tour, now in its fifteenth year, honors the memories of officers who fell in the line of duty, and raises money for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum in DC.
Mahwah Sgt. Harry Hunt, Lt. Jeffrey Dino, and Officers Timothy Letavish, John Lange, and Ryan Hill were among over 1,600 police officers from across the country who raised over $1.6M at this year’s Unity Tour.
The five Mahwah police officers raised over $10,000, thanks to donations from local businesses, families and supporters.
“The whole experience was just great,” Dino said of the four-day bike ride and ceremony in Washington. Of the five, only . When he asked his four friends to join this year, Dino said they were all for it.
“We all like to challenge ourselves, so when Tim asked if we would do it, we wanted to take the challenge,” he said. “This was extra special because we knew we’d be riding in someone’s honor.” Mahwah officers rode to remember New Jersey police officers who died in 2011:
- P.O. Christopher Matlosz, Lakewood Police Dept., Killed by gunfire
- Trooper I Anthony Fotiou, New Jersey State Police, Heart attack
- Detective Tina Rambo, Ocean County Prosecutors, Automobile accident
- P.O. Joseph Wargo, Mt. Arlington Police Dept., Vehicular assault
- Detective Michael Morgan, Newark Police Dept., Killed by gunfire
“I’ll admit it took a little while to get used to being on the bike that long,” Dino, who said the group rode 55 miles the first day of the tour, said. “But really, the whole experience was great. The reception in Washington, D.C. was wonderful, there were so many officers, and family members of some of the fallen officers. They kind of shut down the whole city for this, so you get this really warm reception, and it’s very nice.”
Dino said he and the other officers were proud to help the Law Enforcement Memorial. “It has the names of the fallen officers inscribed on it, so they are never forgotten. I think that’s really important.”
Dino said the group would like to “sincerely thank” the family members, friends and residents who donated to their cause, as well as the following local businesses and organizations that made significant contributions:
- Bolkema Fuel Co (The Bolkema Family)
- Greater Ramsey Chapter of Unico
- Inserra Supermarkets
- (The DeSilva Family)
- Top Notch Tree & Landscape
- Van Natta Mechanical Corp
Residents who did not get the chance to donate before the tour, but would like to, can still make donations on the Mahwah page of the Unity Tour website. Dino said the donation page should remain active until August.
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