Township Police Team Joins 2015 Police Unity Tour To D.C.


Franklin Township Police Lt. Darrin Russo led “Team Franklin” in the 2015 Police Unity Challenge Tour on May 10.

A delegation from the Franklin Township Police Department was part of the approximately 300 police offers from around the country who set off early on May 10 for the Police Unity Tour to Washington, D.C.

The annual event is a fund raiser for the police memorial in the nation’s capitol.

Franklin fielded a team of 12 this year – nine riders and three support personnel – said Lt. Darrin Russo.

Franklin’s team joined officers from as far away as California and Alaska who chose to start the tour from the township municipal complex on DeMott Lane.

The ride takes on more significance in light of the recent unrest in Baltimore, Md., and the killing May 9 of two police officers in Missouri.

“It strengthens what we’re doing here and why we’re doing it,” Russo said. “Every other time an officer’s killed, people seem to not hear about it, so we try to bring awareness, try to help the families that lost an officer.”

This is Russo’s sixth ride in the challenge tour.

“It gets harder as you get older,” he said.

The riders head to Philadelphia on the first leg, an are scheduled to go to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore on May 11. Russo said that second leg may be altered in light of the recent disturbances in Baltimore.

He said officers riding the tour on bikes, motorcycles or in support vehicles are aware of the potential risk, and are prepared.

“It’s definitely on your mind, you just don’t know what some people might do,” he said. “But guys are definitely on the alert for any problems.”

2015 Police Unity Challenge Tour



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