More Than 300 Cops Leave Franklin For Police Unity Challenge Tour To Washington, D.C.

More than 300 police officers from around the country and the world – including three from Franklin – embarked from in front of the Public Safety Building early in the morning of May 10 for the 13th annual Police Unity Tour to Washington, D.C.

The cyclists will join officers from throughout the country at the Law Enforcement Memorial in D.C. for their annual commemoration of those officers who lost their lives in service.

Among the riders are Franklin Township Police Capt. Brian Regan, Lt. Mark Reiner and Officer Andre Tirado.

Somerset County Sheriff Darren Russo – who spent 31 years on the Franklin Township Police Department before winning election as Sheriff – was among the riders.

Russo is riding to honor the late Somerset County Sheriff’s Detective Ron Yeager, who was killed in an auto accident 22 years ago while driving to work. Yeager’s name is being added this year to the commemorative wall in Washington, D.C.

Among those speaking before the riders set off were Public Safety Director Quovella Maeweather, FTPD Detective and president of the state PBA Pat Colligan and Fr. Abraham Orapankal of St. Matthias.

The riders were escorted out of the municipal complex by a squad of members of the Los Angeles Police Department’s and L.A. Sheriff’s Department’s motorcycle units.

The riders were followed by a handful of support vehicles from various police departments.

This is the first time the tour has set off from Franklin in three years, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We spoke with Russo and Russ Yeager, Ron’s son and a retired officer, before the tour set off:

The Franklin Reporter & Advocate was there for the ceremony and the start of the ride:

Here is an expanded photo gallery from the day:

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