Western Kentucky University Police Sgt. Craig Sutter will participate again in Law Enforcement United’s charity bicycle ride in May.
“Last year’s ride was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life, next to getting married and having a child,” Sutter said. “When I got back last year, I was ready to be there again this year.”
More than 300 riders will participate in the National Police Week ride May 10-12. Sutter will be part of the group traveling the ride’s Pennsylvania route for about 200 miles from Reading, Pa., to Washington, D.C. Another group will take the Virginia route from Chesapeake, Va., to Washington, D.C.
The event raises funds for the Officer Down Memorial Page and Concerns of Police Survivors. Last year’s National Police Week ride raised about $185,000. Sutter raised $1,500 last year.
Sutter and Bowling Green police officer Sgt. Matt Edwards will be riding with a group of officers from Nashville, Tenn., and are seeking donations for this year’s ride. On April 16, the Chick-fil-A on Campbell Lane will be hosting a Law Enforcement United event from 5 to 7 p.m. to raise money for the event. Donations also may be made online at http://lawenforcementunited.org/
The National Police Week event honors the service and sacrifice of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and supports the survivors left behind. Sutter is riding in memory of Agent Luis E. Gomez-Crespo of Puerto Rico, who was shot and killed in July 2011. After the ride ends at the White House, participants will attend National Peace Officers Memorial Day services.
Sutter, a native of Louisville, is a 1996 and 2005 WKU graduate and has been a member of the WKU Police Department for about 10 years. “My ultimate goal is to form team of Kentucky riders,” he said.
In addition to fundraising, Sutter has been riding his bike more to prepare for this year’s event. “To get ready, you just have to get out on your bike,” he said. “It’s not a race; it’s a ride. The most important thing is to be on a bike.
“We covered 108 miles on the first day last year. One of the first stops was in Smithfield, Va., was at 34 miles, which was farther than I’d ever ridden at one time. It was enjoyable -- as crazy as that may sound.”
Sutter first learned of the event in 2004 but wasn’t able to participate until last year. “I really didn’t understand until I did it. It’s really hard to explain what the ride is like unless you’ve been on it. Everything along the route shuts down for it,” he said. “The whole thing was a great experience but the third day of the ride may have been the best part as we rode into the D.C. area through Alexandria, Arlington National Cemetery and then the Pentagon.”
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