Riding in honor of Cpl. Scott R. Thompson, members of the Manchester Township Police Department commenced a four day Police Unity Tour bicycle journey to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington DC following a heartfelt ceremony at the Municipal Complex on Monday afternoon.
Each year, a group of Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department has completed the Unity Tour in honor of Ptl. Robert Tobias, who was struck by a passing motorist and killed while conducting a traffic stop along Route 70 in 1975. In addition to Ptl. Tobias, whose family was in attendance, this year’s ride honors Cpl. Thompson, who passed away on April 10, 2015, while exercising in the police headquarters gym. His wife, Mrs. Tracy Thompson, was presented with the Unity Tour Gold Rose during the riders’ stop in Manchester Township.
“We remember the sacrifices, we care for those left behind, and we never forget that it is a privilege to be in this Blue fraternity, because there is no other one like it. It is an honor to be a part of this Unity Tour to ride for those who died,” said Chief Lisa Parker, who along with Mayor Kenneth Palmer and Rev. James Davis, offered remarks in remembrance of Cpl. Thompson and all of those law enforcement officers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities.
The approximately 600 riders from Chapter 10 of the Unity Tour began their ride in Hamilton Township, making several ceremonial stops as they made their way to Manchester Township at about 5:30 p.m. The Manchester and Ridgeway Fire Companies proudly displayed the American Flag at the Municipal Complex entrance as riders entered the driveway.
After breaking for the night, Unity Tour riders will continue their journey Tuesday morning, arriving at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on Thursday, May 12. The 26th Annual Candlelight Vigil honoring fallen law enforcement officers at the Memorial will be held at the National Mall on Friday, May 13.
Founded in 1997, the Police Unity Tour, whose motto is, “We Ride for Those Who Died,” has raised awareness and millions of dollars in funding for the National Law Enforcement Officer’s Memorial and Museum. Manchester Township Police Officers have been participating for the past 11 years. They ride in honor of all fallen officers, but especially Ptl. Robert Tobias and Cpl. Scott R. Thompson.
The riders representing the Manchester Township Police Department this year are Sgt. Michael Leming, Dsg. Christopher Hemhauser, Cpl. Douglas Higgins, Ptl. Michael Anderson, Ptl. Michael Lynch, Ptl. Shawn Cavalcante, Ptl. Thomas Chant, Ptl. Brian Collins, Ptl. Arthur Cronk, Ptl. Anthony Iliadis, and Ptl. Kyle Rickvalsky. They will be joined by Mrs. Thompson and John Tobias, a Point Pleasant Beach Borough Patrolman who is the brother of Ptl. Robert Tobias. Chief Lisa Parker will rejoin the riders in Washington DC on Thursday to attend the Candlelight Vigil the following day.
We would like to thank all of the supporters of the Unity Tour for their generous contributions. To make a donation, please visit www.policeunitytourchapter10.com/donate.