MADISON, NJ - The Police Unity Tour passed through Madison at 10:30 a.m. Monday for the 20th year. Entering into the downtown via Central Avenue and continuing up Main Street toward Morristown, the tour was greeted by residents, business owners and even the children of Central Avenue School, who all cheered the cyclists on.
The Police Unity Tour began in 1997 and was led by Patrick Montuore the now retired Police Chief of the Florham Park Police Department.
"In 1997, 18 officers, four of whom were from the Madison Police Department, raised $18,000 for the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund by bicycling 305 miles from Florham Park to Washington D.C.," explained Sgt. Joseph Longo of the Madison Police Department.
Today, more than 1,000 officers representing seven different chapters nationwide participate in the Police Unity Tour and continue to raise money for this fund. Millions of dollars has been donated to date.
This year, the Florham Park/Madison team that calls themselves Flor-Mad, is represented by Madisonians Carmine DeCaro, a charter member who has participated in all but three police unity tour rides (the years his three daughters were born). As well as Mark and Kristyn Fabyanski, riding in memory of Kristyn’s brother, Officer Gregory Maloney of the Plymouth, Mass. Police Department, who was killed in the line of duty in 2014.
The tour will ride approximately 60 miles today and then 260 miles over the next three days, ending in Washington, D.C.
According to their website, "The primary purpose of the Police Unity Tour is to raise awareness of Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty." The tour also raises money for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum.