The Police Unity Tour raises awareness for the law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.

It also raises funds for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and Museum in Washington, D.C.

The memorial opened in 1991 and has more than 20,000 fallen officers' names engraved on the wall.

"The names faded with time, and the tour raises $1.1 million to refurbish the wall," said Harry Phillips, a retired sergeant from West Orange, N.J. "That was special for us. No name will be forgotten."

The Police Unity Tour was organized and created in 1997 by Officer Patrick P. Montuore of the Florham Park Police Department in the hope of raising public awareness and honoring the sacrifices of fallen officers. Montuore is now the chief of police in Florham Park, N.J.

The first year was 18 riders on a four-day ride from Florham Park to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. They raised $18,000 that year.

Last year, 1,600 members rode and raised more than $1.65 million to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

About $12 million has been raised by the program since 1997.

The program's motto is: "We ride for those who died."

Family members of the fallen officers are among the participants every year, and many wait to greet the riders at the finish line in Washington, D.C.

"It's an unbelievable emotional experience," Phillips said.

Among those in the Bay Area who are riding include:


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  • Pittsburg Officer Larry Lasater's widow JoAnn Lasater.

  • CHP Officer Mike Walker's widow Michelle Walker.

  • Vallejo Officer Jim Capoot's oldest daughter Jillian Capoot.

  • Sacramento County Sheriff Deputy Jeff Mitchell's widow Crystal Mitchell.

  • Susan Moody, the widow of Bradley Moody, a Richmond police officer killed on duty in 2008.

    Richmond police Officers Anthony Diaz and Joe Avila.

    How to help:

    visit the Richmond officers' Police Unity Tour fundraising page at: www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/tony-diaz/police-unity-tour-challenge-ride

    and www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/joeavila/police-unity-tour-challenge-ride