Thursday, July 17, 2014
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10th Annual Illinois C.O.P.S. Cycle Across Illinois will be in Lincoln Friday
Lincoln's own "Officer Mo" will be among the riders

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[July 17, 2014]  The Illinois Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors ("C.O.P .S") will hold their 10th Annual Cycle Across Illinois, a charity bicycle ride to support the Illinois families of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. The 325+ miles ride will begin at the Mississippi River in Alton, IL and end at Gold Star Families Memorial and Park, just east of Soldier's Field in Chicago. The riders are law enforcement officers from many different agencies, in addition to several family survivors and supporters.

During each day, the group will observe dedications to several officers who have died in the line of duty.
As the ride moves across Illinois, the riders will be joined by law enforcement agencies who escort them through their jurisdiction. Families, supporters, universities, agencies and local businesses have also joined to help feed and provide rest areas for the riders. These generous donations enable Illinois C.O.P.S. to focus resources that send survivors to a variety of programs that help them begin healing and form lasting, supportive relationships with other survivors.

Once again this year Lincoln Police Officer Maurice “Mo” Johnson will participate in the ride. Due to the closure of the Salt Creek Bridge and the I-55 business loop on the city’s south side, Johnson shared this year the group plans to come into Lincoln on Primm Road. The expected route is Primm to Wyatt to South Kickapoo to Broadway and stop at the Logan County Safety Complex.

The ride began in the summer of 2005, with ten riders and two support trucks. This year, there will be over 55 riders and several police and support vehicles. Each rider is required to raise a minimum of $600.00 in donations. This ride began with the inspiration of Lt. Gary Dudley of the Indiana State Police, who rode with us in July of 2006. In August of that same year, Gary was killed in Indiana doing a similar ride for survivors in Indiana.

The following is a summary of the ride's tentative itinerary:

The riders arrived at Pontoon Beach on Wednesday evening. This morning at 7 a.m. the group held their Ceremonial back tire dip into the Mississippi River in Alton, then began their ride. At 1 p.m. this afternoon they will stop in Waverly Illinois at the home of a survivor for lunch. They will then proceed to Springfield. They group will be at the Illinois Peace Officers memorial this evening.

Tomorrow morning the riders will depart from the University of Illinois in Springfield and ride to Lincoln where they will enjoy a rest stop at the Logan County Safety Complex. The group is expected to be at the complex mid to late morning.

They will then proceed through Atlanta and on to Bloomington where they will spend the night. Their Bloomington hosts will be Illinois State University, ISU Police and the Normal Police Department.

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Saturday morning they will depart Bloomington. They will ride to the Pontiac area where they will meet the Kohlmeier family before going on to Dwight for lunch at the Hager Memorial Home. The bikers are expected to arrive at Lewis University for the night, and then ride on into Chicago on Sunday morning.

Sunday morning stops will include ISP District 15, the Illinois Tollway Building, and stop at Downer's Grove Illinois to meet the Sauter family. They will stop at the Cook County police headquarters and then travel to Maywood to meet the Estrada family.

The trip will come to an end when they arrive Gold Star Families and Memorial Park, east of Soldier's Field. At CPD Headquarters, the riders will also help kick off the CPD Memorial Foundation's "Pedal for the Police" event. There are several surviving family members on the ride in addition to the family members riders will meet along the way.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page (ODMP); 105 police officers died in the line of duty in 2013. Three were from Illinois: ISP Trooper James Sauter, Pontiac; Police Officer Casey Kohlmeier and Cook County Investigator Cuauhtemoc Estrada.

COPS is extremely grateful to all the departments, schools, businesses and supporters who host them for their breaks, meals and overnight accommodations. Through this generosity, our survivors are able to enrich their lives.


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