Cheers and applause greeted hundreds of police officers in Washington, D.C. as they rode through the nation's capital.
Friday marked the culmination of the Police Unity Tour. Officers from across the country biked more than 300 miles in remembrance of officers who died in the line of duty.
Some of the 2,800 riders were from East Tennessee. Lt. Tammy DeBow of the Knoxville Police Department and Blount County Sheriff's Office Reserve Officer Paige Craig made the ride to D.C. For every one of those miles they had fallen Maryville officer Kenny Moats in their hearts.
"The amount of people there supporting everything we were doing was absolutely amazing,” DeBow said, describing the greeting the riders got upon their arrival in D.C.
The Police Unity Tour started in 1997.
"We rode 51 miles the first day, 88 the second, 93.7 the third day and today we rode around 40 or 50 miles,” Craig said.
DeBow and Craig trained since February for the hills and the rainy weather. They also had the memory of Moats guiding them.
"We have this picture that rode in our vests every single day," DeBow said, picture in hand. "I had it, Paige had it, it was with us for every single day."
Moats was killed last August responding to a domestic violence call. He was honored at Victory Baptist Church in Maryville Wednesday during Blount County's annual memorial service for its fallen officers.
National Police Week is May 14-20.
The trip has been about strengthening the bonds between officers and departments across the country, said DeBow and Craig. The ride also reminded them how much love and respect the nation still has for its law enforcement officers.
"There’s a lot of great and wonderful people that support law enforcement not just for what we do, but the communities that we serve,” DeBow said.
This 2017 bike ride raised $2.6 million for the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial and Museum.
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