SOMERVILLE, NJ – Officers from the Morirs Township Police Department and the Morris County Sheriff's Officers took part in the the four-day Police Unity Tour. The 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. 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.
Morris Township officers Tim Quinn, Mark Osterhoudt, Kevin Yarzab and David Powell, will be in the pack of cyclists. Morris County Sheriff's Officers William Lanfrank, Peter Lohmus, Eric Brauner, Alberino Guerriero and Mike Schweizer will also ride.
They will join with police from across the country to honor their brothers killed in the line of duty, including Summit Police Det. Matthew Tarentino, who had lived in Somerville when he was killed in a Route 78 car accident two years ago.
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 long line of blue cyclists will start off the first day of cycling in Florham Park and head south, making their way to Routes 202/206 before heading down Mountain Avenue.
The riders will turn from Mountain Avenue on to West End Avenue alongside Borough Hall before heading down West Main Street; a huge crowd will greet the line of cyclists along East Main Street in front of the historic Somerset County Courthouse.
The cyclists will then proceed down Grove Street in front of the Somerset County Administration Building, Sheriff's Office and Somerset County Jail. More than one dozen K9 officers and their partners will salute them as they ride by on their way to Route 28, where students at the Van Derveer School will stand outside and pay tribute to the cyclists. Their trip will continue towards Finderne Avenue into Manville and on to Weston Canal Road to connect with Davidson Avenue in Franklin, where they will spend the night at area hotels before heading out Thursday morning May 10 for their second day of cycling.
By the end of Day Two, the cyclists will reach Philadelphia; Day 3, May 11, the destination is Baltimore. They will arrive in Washington on May 12, Day 4 and converge at the police memorial, according to Spadea. The officers will participate in the candlelight vigil on May 13.
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.