Police & Fire

Remembering the Fallen: Police Unity Tour Cycles Through Madison

As the bagpipes played, at least 2,400 participants made their way through downtown Madison in remembrance of fallen officers during the first leg of the Police Unity Tour. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Officers ride down Central Avenue, waving to passersby. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Cyclists smile and wave at those who stood to watch them pass, thanking them for coming. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Each cyclist dressed in blue, a color widely known to represent police officers. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Lt. Joseph Longo of the Madison Police leads the procession of cyclists down Central Avenue. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
Officers gather in the center of town to watch the cyclists pass. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
A blue floral arrangement welcomed cyclists to the center of Madison. Credits: Lindsay Ireland
A blue-toned American flag hung over the center of town as cyclists passed by on their way to Washington, DC during the Police Unity Tour. Credits: Lindsay Ireland

MADISON, NJ – As the sirens approached and the sun shone brightly in the center of downtown Madison on Wednesday morning, a small crowd gathered there. As the bikes passed by—leading an army of cyclists behind them—onlookers took photos and waved as the officers passed, thanking each officer for their work. 

The four-day Police Unity Tour had finally reached Madison. More than 2,400 participants, including bike and motorcycle riders and support personnel made their way up Central Avenue and down Main Street, a line that stretched for more than three blocks. 

One of these cyclists was Madison Police Officer Carmen DeCaro, who has participated in this event for the past 20 years, a more than 300-mile trek from New Jersey to Washington, DC. Lt. Joseph Longo also made the trip on motorcycle support.

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“We love the unity tour coming through Madison,” said Lt. John Miscia of the Madison Police Department. “It’s special to our town and to our community and our officers.”

First organized in 1997 by Florham Park Police Officer Pat Montuore, the Police Unity Tour is designed to raise awareness about fallen law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. DeCaro has ridden in nearly tour since the event’s inception, missing only two in more than 20 years.

Correction: This story previously stated that DeCaro had only missed the event's first tour. TAPinto Madison recently received updated information that DeCaro did indeed participate in the first Police Unity Tour, but has missed two others.

“Every day we keep officers that died in the line of duty in our thoughts and prayers, but especially we remember them and their families during police week and through the unity tour,” Miscia said. 

The four-day fundraiser trip ended Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capitol at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, which receives these proceeds each year. Last year, the Police Unity Tour donated about $2.6 million to this fund. 

A candlelight vigil to remember fallen officers will be held Sunday at the National Mall in Washington, DC. 

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