Police officers from Killeen and Harker Heights swapped their uniforms for bicycle jerseys Friday morning to participate in a memorial bike ride from Killeen to Belton.
The local officers joined a team of riders from the San Antonio Police Department to participate in a leg of the “We Remember” Memorial Bicycle Trek Across Texas.
The trek visits every city where an officer died in the line of duty and holds a small remembrance ceremony to honor the fallen.
“It’s a way to sacrifice a little bit of sweat and energy and time to honor their memories,” said Steven Bazaney, a San Antonio police officer who helped organize the ride since it began in 1993. “You get a chance to sacrifice a little bit of yourself for your buddies.”
The riders left early Friday from La Quinta Inn in Killeen and biked to the Killeen Police Department’s headquarters on Community Boulevard and then to the Bell County Justice Complex in Belton.
This year marked one of the first times the tour stopped in Killeen. At KPD headquarters, the riders paid tribute to Officer Robert Hornsby, who was killed in the line of duty in July.
Riders presented Hornsby’s family a flag and gave the department a plaque.
“We’ve come here to honor him and remember him. ... We’ve come here to lend our strength to your own,” Bazaney said.
Hornsby’s widow, Kimberly Hornsby, joined the second part of the ride from KPD headquarters to Belton. At the Bell County Justice Complex, a ceremony was held for sheriff’s Deputy Adam Davis, who died in December after his patrol car crashed while responding to a call.
Kimberly Hornsby, and officers from Killeen and Harker Heights, plan to participate in a memorial ride next month that will take them 250 miles from Florham Park, N.J., to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Police Unity Tour also honors fallen soldiers.
“The motto of the tour is ‘We ride for those who died,’” said Harker Heights police Officer Clyde Hicks. “It’s the least we can do for them.”
The Unity Tour begins May 10.