The Midlands leg of the COPS unity tour 2019 is officially underway.
The list of Leicestershire Police officers, staff and family members taking part, includes:
Riders first name
Riders second name
More than 30 officers, staff and family members congregated this morning at Leicestershire force headquarters, where they honoured those fallen in the line of duty with a remembrance service.
The group then took to their bikes, before embarking on their 180 mile journey.
They have begun the East Midlands route by heading out of force headquarters and up to Pride Park stadium, Derby. They will then tackle the 72 mile journey from Derby to Lichfield on Saturday, before splitting the final day into two journeys.
They will start by heading into Tamworth, where they will pick up riders from other regions, before cycling into the National Memorial Arboretum.
Riders will then meet the families of the victims they have been riding in honour of and they will share a service of remembrance to conclude the tour.
Deputy Chief Constable, Rob Nixon, is taking part in his second unity tour cycle, he said:
“I am delighted to be taking part in the Care of Police Survivors (COPS) unity tour cycle.
“The tour affords us the opportunity to ride on behalf of a fallen officer, which in my case is Catherine Godfrey and I feel privileged to be able to do so.
“But, more importantly the unity tour provides the whole of the force – not just those taking part – with an opportunity to remember all those who have fallen in the line of duty.
“COPS is such an important cause. It provides families with support when they need it most and offers a support network helping families to move forward through their grief.
“Having done the ride before, I know what I have let myself in for. It’s 180 tough miles, but it’s nothing compared to what these families have been through.”
Simone Jackson, lost her husband, Austin whilst he was on duty. Speaking about what COPS has done for her, she said:
“COPS has literally been a lifesaver for myself and my four children.
“We have met people who understand what we are going through and the support and kindness that has been shown is amazing.
“COPS has helped my children to speak about the death of Austin and enabled them to feel like they fit in and feel normal when we meet up with other surviving family members.
“The unity tour is amazing, it’s such an emotional event and we feel so honoured that people take on such a huge challenge to help officers loved ones. I’m so proud to be able to be there for my husband and the children for their Dad.”