Three Cranford Police officers will represent the township’s police force on the upcoming Police Unity Tour bicycle ride to honor the sacrifices of police officers killed in the line of duty. Officers from around the United States will converge on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington D.C. on Monday, May 12, 2014. Lieutenant Guy Patterson and Officers Derek Farbanec and Joseph Stulpin will be the second group of Cranford officers to participate in the annual event, traveling over 300 miles by bicycle. Lt. Patterson and Off. Farbanec also participated in the 2013 event. They will depart New Jersey on Friday, May 9, 2014.
The Police Unity Tour was organized in May 1997 by Chief Patrick P. Montuore of the Florham Park Police Department, with the hope of bringing public awareness of Police Officers who died in the line of duty and to honor their sacrifices. The first event included 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. Over time, the event has grown to encompass eight chapter organizations consisting of nearly 1600 members nationwide. In addition to officers representing 40 different states, participants have traveled to the event from Australia, Canada, England, India, Israel and Italy.
Through obtaining sponsorship and donations, officers participating in the Police Unity Tour raise funds that are donated to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF). The May 2013 event resulted in over 1.72 million dollars being donated to the NLEOMF, bringing total donations to the fund since inception to nearly 14 million dollars. The three participating Cranford officers have committed to raising over $2,000 each through their participation in the tour.
According to Lt. Patterson, the tour represents an ongoing opportunity to challenge himself for a good cause. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s always worth the effort. I think this ride is an excellent way for the three of us, and for the whole department and all of our supporters, to show respect for these fallen officers and their families.” The officers have been training regularly for several months in anticipation of the upcoming trip.
Cranford Police Chief James Wozniak is an outspoken supporter of his officers’ participation in the Police Unity Tour. “The Cranford Police Department is all about giving back to the community,” he stated, “and whether that means our local community, our schools, or the broader law enforcement community, I will wholeheartedly commend any officers that make an extra effort to make a difference. These officers are involved in a great program for a great cause and I support them 100 percent.”
Lt. Guy Patterson
Ptl. Derek Farbanec
Ptl. Joseph Stulpin
Mail Address for General Donations: Police Unity Tour Chapter I, P.O Box 528, Florham Park, New Jersey 07932