As communities across the United States observe the 10th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks this Sunday, one group of local police officers will honor their fallen brothers and sisters in uniform with a special fundraiser motorcycle ride open to all.
On Sunday, Sept. 11, the Police Unity Tour Motorcycle Ride Fundraiser will begin and end at Scotty's Big Dawg's Pub & Restaurant, 832 West Main Road, Middletown at 11:15 a.m. The funds raised will be used to help support the families of fallen officers and to maintain the National Law Enforcement Memorial (NLEM).
According to the NLEM website, Sept. 11, 2001 marked the deadliest day in U.S. law enforcement history, with 72 peace officers killed in the line of duty during the terrorist attacks.
Sgt. Mike Faria of the Middletown Police Department and Newport Police Department Officer Joe Carroll are the organizers behind the ride, with sponsorship from Scotty's Big Dawg's, according to an event announcement. The two police officers were inspired to hold the event after taking part in this year's Police Unity Bike Tour, a 300-mile annual bicycle ride from Florham Park, NJ to Washington, D.C. in which fellow police officers and family members of fallen officers ride together to raise money for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. In 1997, the first Police Unity Bike Tour took place and in the 14 years since then, the annual ride has grown to 1,200 riders.
This Sunday marks the first ride organized locally to benefit the fund.
“The ride was initially a fundraiser for the Police Unity Tour to help raise money for next year’s ride,” Sgt. Faria explained. “Last year, 19 police officers from Rhode Island including several officers from Aquidneck Island were part of a group of about 1,200 police officers from around the country, Canada, and there was even a rider from Israel, who rode bicycles 300 miles from Florham Park, New Jersey to Washington D.C. to start off National Police Week.”
With help from Scotty McLeish, owner of Scotty's Big Dawg's Pub, the local police officers worked together on organizing this Sunday’s local ride.
“The date fell into place with the time frame in which we were trying to organize the ride, and is a fitting tribute to officers killed that dreadful day,” Sgt. Faria said.
This Sunday’s 9/11 ride will leave Big Dawgs at 11:15 a.m. and will travel north on West Main Road to the Sakonnet Bridge before crossing over into Tiverton and making its way down to Sakonnet Point in Little Compton, Faria said. Riders will turn around in Little Compton and return to the Island. From there, riders will follow a route south on East Main Road to Sandy Point Lane, passing the beaches and finally returning to Big Dawg’s, where riders will be welcomed back with lunch.
For more information
- The Police Unity Tour Motorcycle Ride Fundraiser will take place Sunday, Sept. 11.
- The ride will start and end at Scotty's Big Dawg's Pub & Restaurant, 832 West Main Road, Middletown.
- Registration is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- The ride kicks off at 11:15 a.m.
- Tickets are $20 per rider; $5 per passenger.
- Non-riders are invited to also attend the event with a $5 donation at the door.
- Any donations also will be accepted at the event.
- Food will be provided after the ride.
- There will be a 50/50 raffle.
To see our region's complete coverage of the 10-year anniversary, you can also follow our special Facebook page, Rhode Island Remembers 9/11.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Police Unity Bike Tour was a motorcycle ride, but it is in fact limited to bicyclists.