CRANFORD, NJ – Five Cranford police officers arrived in Washington, D.C. today in the culmination of their 300-mile bike ride for the 21st annual Police Unity Tour.
Captain Guy Patterson, Sergeant Joseph Stulpin, Officer Daniel Donnerstag and first year rider, Officer Matthew Siessel, departed on May 9. Retired Lieutenant Robert Colaneri accompanied the four riders on their journey.
The Police Unity Tour was started by Chief Patrick P. Montuore of the Florham Park Police Department to raise public awareness for police officers who died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifices. Officers participating in the tour raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).
“We pass thousands of people along our route to D.C.,” Patterson said in a press release sent by the CPD. “Overwhelmingly, people are extremely supportive. We can see the impact the sheer numbers of officers on bicycles passing by has on them. Making the ride into D.C. and raising the money for the NLEOMF and the families of fallen officers is always a rewarding experience.”
The goal for this year’s CPD team was for each officer to raise more than $2,000 each through their participation in the tour. The officers would like to thank Barry O’Donovan and Kilkenny House, Dottie Baniewicz and Barbara Bilger of the Cranford Chamber of Commerce, Cranford Jaycees, Cranford PBA Local # 52 and the Cranford PAL for their support, according to the press release.
“In the United States, more than 900,000 law enforcement officers protect the citizens and communities they work in,” Cranford Police Chief James Wozniak said in the press release. “Unfortunately, that protection comes with a price. In 2016, 144 officers lost their lives protecting and serving. This event is one way of showing support to those families whose loved one made the ultimate sacrifice. The Cranford Police Department is committed to this event and I couldn't be more proud of our team and the effort they have, once again, put forth.”