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Riding To Remember Those Who Fell In The Line Of Duty

More than 250 officers on bicycles will ride in the Police Unity Tour through Ocean County Wednesday, with stops in Berkeley and Ocean Gate

Ocean Gate Patrolman Jay Marles. Lakewood Patrolman Christopher Matlosz. New Jersey State Trooper . Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Detective Tina Rambo.

Hundreds of police officers are biking 300 miles to Washington, D.C. in the annual to remember those familiar names and the names of all law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

"We Ride For Those Who Died," is the tour's motto. Its purpose is twofold- to raise awareness of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty, and to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Museum.

Chapter 2 of the tour includes officers from the Ocean and Monmouth areas. This year Berkeley Township has three officers making the ride - Detective Lt. Curtis Drumhiller, Sgt. Kevin Santucci and Patrolman Robert Flanegan.

Police Chief made the ride to Washington last year. She trained for six months.

"It's such a great experience," she said. "You get riders from all over the country. They shut down D.C. for us."

The Chapter 2 riders will ride through Howell and Lakewood to remember Castellano, who died during a police foot search Route 195 when he was struck by a speeding car; and , who was gunned down while on duty in January 2011.

The tour will make its way to Toms River for a brief service in front of the Prosecutor's Office on Hooper Avenue for , who died in a head-on collision last Aug. 1 on her way to work.

The officers will proceed down Route 9 into Beachwood and Bayville, then stop in Ocean Gate for another service for , a popular young officer who was killed on his way home from a night shift on Thanksgiving morning 2010 by a drunk driver on the Garden State Parkway.

The Unity Tour riders will then bike down Route 9 to the , where they will be greeted by Berkeley elementary school students, the Central Regional High School band, Berkeley police and firefighters and township officials, DiMichele said.

"We have contacted all the schools," the chief said. "They want to participate."

A lunch will be provided for the riders and students at the firehouse, she said.

"It's going to be a town-wide event," DiMichele said.

DiMichele said police will be stationed at traffic intersections in Bayville. The Unity Tour will affect drivers going southbound on Route 9, so DiMichele urges motorists to find alternate routes between roughly 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The tour ends candlelight vigil for fallen officers in Washington, D.C.

Judy Bryant May 09, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Why does everyone forget Officer Angelo Vasile, Harvey Cedars Police, who was killed, off duty (like Jason), when a hit & run driver struck his motorcycle leaving him to die, 2 years ago yesterday?
Parent of an Addict May 12, 2012 at 04:37 PM
It doesn't mean he was forgotten because someone else was remembered. You can organize an event in rememberance to anyone. It just means no one has yet. You could be that someone. :)

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