CLEVELAND – It’s a bittersweet goodbye, as hundreds gathered for the fourth annual Cops Ride.
Motorcyclists gathered at Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Sunday morning. They came to honor the 173 American officers killed in the line of duty last year – six of them are from Ohio.
Those officers are:
– Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Michelle Hopper, Clark County , EOW Jan. 1, 2011
– Officer Tom Hayes, Columbus PD, EOW Jan. 20, 2011
– Officer Jonathan V Bastork, Stow PD, EOW Feb. 5, 2011
– Captain Daniel Patrick Stiles, Uniontown PD, EOW Feb. 15, 2011
– Officer Andrew Scott Dunn, Sandusky PD, EOW March 19, 2011
– Sgt. Brian Scott Dulle, Warren County Sheriff, EOW May 10, 2011
“So often, we hear people talk about police, and unfortunately many times, it’s in a negative point of view,” said Wayne Owens of Cleveland. “But this shows the positive side of what people in the community really represent.”
Wayne and his family have attended the ceremony in honor of his son, Cleveland Patrol Officer Derek Owens. Derek was killed on March 1, 2008.
The crowd of 750 bikers gathered to ride to police stations across the region, for the 183 local fallen heroes, like Derek, never to be forgotten.
“When you see this many riders who will come out and support Ohio cops, it means a great deal to us. It makes the burden somewhat easier,” Wayne said.
Derek served 10 years with Cleveland Police.
Wayne said for his son, this is truly a perfect farewell.
“In his leisure time, he would ride with some of the other police officers from Cleveland,” Wayne said. “To see the different motorcyclists now come out to support an event like this, just makes it such a wonderful event of all of us, for all of our families.”
The Greater Cleveland Peace Officers’ Cops Ride has raised more than $25,000 for families of fallen officers.
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