Sheriff's Corrections Officers Ride to Washington
Homer's epic poem, "The Odyssey," recounts an ancient Greek soldier's decade-long voyage home after the Trojan War. The word odyssey, itself, has since become synonymous with a long and arduous journey.
Last week three members of the Sussex County Sheriff's Office Bureau of Corrections hopped on their bicycles, joining approximately 600 others, and began an odyssey of their own; pedaling from Florham Park NJ to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington DC as part of the Police Unity Tour.
Their 300 mile ride began in Florham Park and concluded four days later with a candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial which is etched with the names of 18,983 officers killed in the line of duty.
The Police Unity Tour was organized by Florham Park Police Officer Pat Montuore in May, 1997 to raise public awareness of police officers who have died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifices. A total of 18 police officers from throughout New Jersey rode that first year and raised approximately $18,000. In comparison, this year, over 1600 members from throughout the United States made the trip, raising $1.65 million for the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial Fund. Inspired by the tour's motto, "We ride for those who died," many riders traveled from countries such as Australia, Israel, Great Britain, Italy, India, and Canada to join the tour. Montuore, who is now Chief of the Florham Park Police Department, still accompanies the tour each year.
The three riders and one support member from the Sussex County Sheriff's Office Bureau of Corrections raised approximately $7,500. The members involved were
UnderSheriff Homer Wanamaker, who was accompanied by his daughter, Blaire, a Detective with the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office
Sussex County Sheriff's Corrections Sergeant John Bannon, who was accompanied by his brother, Jim, a retired United States Coast Guard member
Sussex County Sheriff's Corrections Officer Jason Kimble
Sussex County Sheriff's Corrections Corporal Anthony Masucci
Since 1997, the Police Unity Tour has raised almost $12 million dollars for the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial and Museum.