Harker Heights police officer Clyde Hicks spends most of his work time riding his police motorcycle around the city.
But Hicks spent the last few months riding another kind of bike - a bicycle - to prepare for the Police Unity Tour May 9 to 12 in Washington, D.C.
“The Police Unity Tour is a 250-mile bike ride over a three day period,” Hicks said. “It started in 1997 to bring awareness for the fallen officers that lost their lives in the line of duty.”
The ride also kicks off National Police Week.
Hicks began participating in long biking events last year, spending his three days off the clock putting in extra miles to prepare for the long bike journey.
Hicks will join hundreds of law enforcement personnel from the Florida chapter at the starting line in Portsmouth, Va. The group will then make their way towards the nation’s capitol to meet up with seven other Police Unity Tour chapters, then the masses will continue on to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
Each biker will represent a fallen officer. A total of 127 law enforcement officers lost their lives on the job in 2012. Eleven were from Texas, Hicks said.
“I’ve always had a passion for officers who lose their lives in the line of duty,” he said. “It seems to me that as time goes on their names start to fade away and their memories are just that, so this is a way to keep their memories of officers alive.”
Hicks will represent Brazos County Constable Brian Bachman, who was gunned down near Texas A&M University in College Station last year.
“I’ll ride in his honor,” he said. “We are issued bracelets (during the ride), and when I get back I will meet up with the family and present the additional bracelets to the family along with some pictures (of the event).”
“I am so proud of him and I hope he does well,” said Harker Heights Police Chief Mike Gentry. “He has done a really good job in preparing and representing us.”
The Police Unity Tour also allows participants to raise funds for the restoration and maintenance of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
For more information, go to www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/clyde-hicks/police-unity-tour-viii-2013.