Police Unity Tour Remembers Fallen Lakewood Officers
[PHOTOS and VIDEO] The annual Police Unity Tour passed through Lakewood this morning on its way to Washington DC, as hundreds of current and retired officers from New Jersey make their way on bicycle to the nation’s capital honoring those officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
“We ride for those who died” is the organization’s theme, and more than 1,500 officers from across the country will make the trip to Washington DC, coinciding with National Police Week.
This year marks the 5th year Anniversary of Lakewood Patrolman William “Nichie” Preslar’s passing, and the name of Officer Chris Matlosz will be placed on the wall of honor this year. Lakewood’s contingent of Officers Dave Sussman, Pete Lerosa, Michael Anderson, Thomas D’ellia, Alex Pedra and retired officer Glenn Bresson joined 300 others from Chapter II of the tour, representing Ocean and Monmouth counties. They were escorted by Sergeant Frank Work, Detective Sherrie Jones and Officer Eric Menck on motorcycle. Officers Lynn Miller and Gary Przewoznik escorted the families, and Officer Alex Guzman drove along in a Lakewood police car.
Prior to leaving Lakewood a ceremony honoring Lakewood’s fallen officers was held in town hall.
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The group is in for a rough ride this year. The tour kicked off Wednesday morning in heavy, driving rain, and as they left Lakewood the rain really picked up. The tour rode into Lakewood down Clifton Ave to police headquarters, then making its way down Central Ave past the site of Preslar’s fatal crash five years ago while on the way to a call.
Preslar swerved to avoid hitting a deer, losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a tree. He died upon impact. Matlosz was shot in the line of duty in January, 2011.
In May 1997 the Police Unity Tour was organized by Officer Patrick P. Montoure of the Florham Park Police Department, with the hope of bringing public awareness of police officers who have died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifices.
It started with 18 riders on a four day fundraising ride from Florham Park, NJ to the National Law Enforcement Police Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. and raised $18,000.
In 2011 the Tour was able to raise $1.5 Million Dollars, with local Chapter II represented 200 of the 1,400 members who made the trip. From that total $1.1 million went towards restoring the National Police Officers Memorial.
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