Officers begin bike journey to Washington, D.C. in honor of fallen law enforcement

Officers begin annual Police Unity Tour to D.C.
Published: May. 8, 2023 at 5:48 PM EDT
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - National Police Week begins this weekend.

On Monday a group of police officers began the 300-mile journey on bike from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. to honor law enforcement killed in the line of duty.

It’s part of the annual Police Unity Tour.

A kickoff ceremony was held at the Hartford Police Department.

This year Hartford police are riding with Bristol police officers.

It’s all part of an effort to make sure those killed in the line of duty are not forgotten.

“Anxious, nervous, excited. I think every bit of emotion comes in,” said Officer Michael Campisano with the Bristol Police Department.

A range of emotions as Campisano is about to embark on a 300-mile bike ride. It’s the Bristol police officer’s first time participating in the Police Unity Tour.

A bicycle ride to Washington, D.C. is raising awareness about law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty.

“I’m sure it’s going to be very emotional riding. I mean it’s emotional every day I go down there and see the wall but to go in there and actually know and work with people that are on the wall, I don’t know what I’m gonna feel. I know it’s probably going to be very difficult,” Campisano said.

Back in October, tragedy struck the Bristol Police Department. Lieutenant Dustin DeMonte and Sergeant Alex Hamzy were killed in the line of duty as they responded to a call.

This week their brothers in blue are riding in their honor.

“They really should never be forgotten. They were amazing men, police officers and great friends,” said Officer Conor Hogan with the Bristol Police Department.

Six officers from the Hartford Police Department are riding with three members from the Bristol Police Department.

They’ll bike 300 miles over four days and end at the National Law Enforcement Memorial located in Judiciary Square.

“It’s a mix of emotions but it’s important. It’s important that we honor those whether it was this year or decades ago that gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody.

Officers have been training for this ride for months.

“For me, it’s a huge honor. To represent these two officers,” said Detective Peter Dauphinais with the Bristol Police Department. “The opportunity when it came up, I couldn’t wait to jump on it.”

The journey will take them from Connecticut to New Jersey, then Delaware, Maryland and finally, Washington, D.C.

“Every pedal, every stroke they’re going to be doing is gonna be thinking of Alex and Dustin and Alec Iurato as well,” said Bristol Police Chief Brian Gould.

Around 2,600 police officers from across the country make the trip annually.

The unity ride raises money for the National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum.

Channel 3 will have live coverage of the memorial this weekend as the Bristol officers’ names are officially etched in the memorial.