DENVER — Every 60 hours, a police officer is killed in the line of duty in the country.
About 900,000 officers put their lives on the line every day and thousands will bike into Washington as part of the Police Unity Tour that kicks off National Police week next month.
Colorado’s team is made up of more than 40 officers from around the state, including Colorado State Patrol troopers Bell Hee and Roy Cherry.
They started training last year and each have personal reasons for riding.
“I was very good friends with Cody Donahue, who was hit and killed just after Thanksgiving a year and a half ago,” Cherry said. “And he’s driving me to ride in his honor.”
“This year I will be riding for Jaimie Jursevics. When I was injured in 2014, she was one of the first to reach out to me,” Hee said.
Hee was nearly killed trying to bring a wild carjacking and chase to an end in March 2014.
He was hit by the suspect’s vehicle after throwing down stop sticks. His leg was shattered below the knee.
After years of rehabilitation and recovery, it’s a miracle he is on a bicycle, getting ready to ride in the Police Unity Tour that will end at the National Law Enforcement Memorial.
“In an ironic way, I could’ve been on that wall,” Hee said. “In a split second. But I made it.”
Jursevics’ husband is following his training closely.
“D.J. wants to make sure I can do it,” Hee said. “He knows because of my injuries, there are limitations on my body. He’s inspired me on Facebook with notes like you can do it keep training.”
The fallen heroes they ride for keep them going as well.
“I truly believe she is with me when I ride,” Hee said. “Every time I get through a hard spot, I look down at the sticker JJ 4801. It gets me through the hard times on the bikes.”
Cherry said the same thing about Donahue.
“I look down at the bracelets I wear that have his name on it, the bike has his name on it, that powers me through any challenges because I know it’s for him,” Cherry said. “It’s all in honor of him.”
They will join 2,700 officers from around the country who are on a similar mission.
“It’s super important for us to remember those who protected us,” Hee said.
Their primary mission is to raise awareness about law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
The secondary purpose is to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum. To donate, visit the website and enter Bell Hee or Roy Cherry.