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AJO President Peddles to Washington, DC in the 2018 Police Unity Tour

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May 16th, 2018

- Updated on

May 16, 2018 - 3:24pm
 
Andy O'Connor with grandchildren at the start of the 2018 PUTAJO's President, Andy O'Connor participated in his 16th Police Unity Tour (PUT) last week to raise awareness for Law Enforcement Officers who have died in the line of duty and to raise funds for the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial and Museum.
 
The NJ Chapter left East Hanover on May 9th following opening remarks from Officer Patrick P. Montuore (founder of the PUT) from the Florham Park Police Department and Craig W. Floyd, Chief Executive Officer of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF).
 
Since the PUT's inception in 1997, millions of dollars have been raised for the Fund and the number of law enforcement riders has grown exponentially. 
 
Andy O'Connor's grandchildren at the PUT, 2018
In 1997, 18 riders on a four-day fund-raising bicycle ride from Florham Park, NJ to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. raised $18K. Since then, $23M has been raised for the Fund, as the PUT entered its 22nd year with over 2800 law enforcement riders participating.
 
The NJ Chapter kick-off was hosted by Target East Hanover store who supplied water and bananas for the riders. Target employees were among those to give the riders a rallying "send-off." Andy's family, including grandchildren, were present to give Andy their support (shown in the three photos on the right).
 
Riders arrived in Washington, DC on May 12th and the Candlelight Vigil took place on May 13th on the National Mall.
 
Andy's grand-daughter Carleigh on the PUT 2018In thanking his sponsors, Andy wrote:
Dear PUT Supporters,
 
Once again thank you for your support of the Police Unity Tour.
 
I find the growth amazing and after 22 years of riding we have now grown to 2800 riders 300 motors and hundreds of support personnel who in 2018, collectively raised 2.8 million and donated it to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. This Memorial now houses the names of 21,183 Officers killed in the line of duty since the inception of Law Enforcement in the USA.
 
We had a very good ride this year as the weather was the best in many years. Still had several crashes but most injuries were minor scrapes and a few breaks! Anytime we start to question the difficulty that comes with a ride like this, we focus our thoughts on the mission...”we ride for those that died” and any hurdles seem to fade away. What has not faded is the support you have shown me over the last 16 rides. I thank you for that! Oh and yes I did commit to next year’s ride. J
 
Gratefully Andy
Andy took these three short clips along the way. Watch and you'll get a really good feel for being on a bike participating in the ride.
 
Congrats and thank you, Andy!