SOMERSET, NJ – Hundreds of current and retired police officers headed out of the Municipal Complex Friday morning to begin the first leg of the 23rd annual Police Unity Tour. 

TAP here for video. 

The four-day Police Unity Tour is commemorating its 23rd anniversary May 9-12, with 2,000 police officers converging on the nation’s capital to pay tribute to officers killed in the line of duty and the families left behind. Several different groups set off from starting points in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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They will converge at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in the nation’s capital.

The fifth day, May 13th, will be filled by a candlelight vigil and ceremonies at the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.

The 2,000 riders nationwide will help to heighten awareness of the dangers and hazards faced by law enforcement officers, honor those who have died in the line of duty and raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.

The Police Unity Tour was organized by Officer Patrick P. Montuore of the Florham Park Police Department in May, 1997.

Since then, the annual event has raised nearly $25 million.