The FBI reported that in 2009 there was a 17% jump in the number of law enforcement officers “feloniously killed” in the line of duty (LODD) compared to the previous year. One of the more egregious incidents included the slaying of four Lakewood, WA., police officers who were ambushed at a coffee house outside Tacoma. In total the Seattle area experienced the deaths of 7 police officers last year and one in the early months of 2010.
Recently I was contacted by Gary Fox, a retired police officer who is a member of the Line of Duty Death Response Team and the Behind the Badge Foundation. Clearly no one wants to contemplate their own death, but law enforcement is a high-risk occupation with the very real possibility of such a tragedy and these groups are extremely helpful to the families and police departments. At any rate, Mr. Fox informed me about a motorcycle ride which will be led by Seattle Police Officer, Clayton Powell, as well as other current officers and friends, who have pulled this together in honor of the officers killed in the line of duty.
The inaugural ride is called the Forza 009 Ride to Remember and it will occur this Sunday, July 25th. The “FOR” stands for Fallen Officers Ride. The “ZA” is in remembrance of the Forza Coffee Shop in Parkland — the sight of the worst single incident involving a LODD (line of duty death). The ride is open to all law enforcement, fire fighters and supporters. The staging area will be at the 7500 block of East Marginal Way, in the Boeing Parking Lot. From there they plan to ride to the East Precinct in Seattle, where a memorial Patch will be presented to the precinct; from there, they will ride to the Lakewood Precinct where four patches will be presented; from there to Eatonville to the Pierce County Mountain Precinct; and then to the Forza Coffee shop in Lakewood for a BBQ and raffle.
The proceeds of this ride will assist squad members, agency officers, and family members who would like to go the National Police Week festivities in Washington, DC., during May, but don’t have the funds. The proceeds of this ride will assist those who can’t afford to go and the ride web site has all the information detail.
Photos courtesy of Behind The Badge and FORza web site.