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Copley officers to cycle for slain officers

3/21/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Sgt. Jack Simone, Officer Jeff Newman and Chief Michael Mier of the Copley Police Department will take part in a three-day bike ride this May to honor officers killed in the line of duty.
Photo courtesy of Copley Police Department
COPLEY — When Copley Police Chief Michael Mier was in Washington, D.C., last year to see one of his officers receive an award during National Police Week, he saw something that inspired him.

“I saw all these bicyclists coming in together, so I stopped one of the officers later, and he told me about Law Enforcement United,” Mier said.

The national organization’s mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of all law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty and support their survivors. One way the organization raises funds for that is through the Road to Hope bike ride in which law enforcement officers and surviving family members choose one of two routes to Washington, D.C.

“I thought that’s something that would be nice, so we talked about doing it here,” Mier said.

Now Mier, Sgt. Jack Simone and Officer Jeff Newman are in the midst of raising personal goals of $1,500 each to participate in the ride, which will have them bike more than 250 miles over the course of three days.

Mier said he and the two officers are avid cyclists, so the event seemed like a good fit. He added he’s been trying to work out to get in shape for the event and hopes to do more outside riding as the weather improves.

“We go out a lot on the Towpath, but all three of us have been trained to ride the police bikes here in the police department,” Mier said. “We took that training years ago when we started a bike unit in the early 2000s.”

Mier said the group will ride about 65 miles a day and have planned stops along the way.

“We will have some scheduled stops with police departments where there have been officers killed in the line of duty and there are family members of officers killed in the line of duty,” Mier said.

The Copley team will begin the ride with other participants May 10 in Reading, Pa. Another group of officers will begin the ride that day in Chesapeake, Va., and both groups will converge in Washington, D.C., on May 12.

The ride supports two initiatives, Mier said. The first is the Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) group, which provides resources to assist in rebuilding the lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of officers killed in the line of duty, according to its website.

Mier said the organization hosts summer camps for children of slain officers and also provides college scholarships for those youths.

The other entity that benefits from the ride is the Officer Down Memorial Page, at www.odmp.org, an online memorial that pays tribute to officers that died in the line of duty.

Mier said there already has been a raffle that one of his officers organized to benefit the cause, but the three are still raising money to get closer to their goals. Checks may be made out to the Copley Police Association and brought or mailed to the Copley Police Department, 1280 Sunset Drive, Copley, OH 44321. For details, contact Mier at 330-666-4260 or at mmier@copley.oh.us.

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