Washoe County Sheriff’s Deputies: Police Unity Tour
Article courtesy of the BOLO Report, Thanks for your support!
A couple BOLO Report staffers attended a fundraiser Saturday evening with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in Reno, NV. The event was hosted by WCSO deputies riding in the Police Unity Tour and their Sheriff, Mike Haley.
“We’ve done several different fundraisers,” one deputy told us, and laughed. “This was our first time we’ve done a wine-tasting.”
That deputy is one of the four WCSO riders who will be attending the 350+ mile ride prior to National Police Week. The group includes deputies with assignments to patrol, the tactical unit and detention. Another deputy, a former Marine, is currently recuperating from an injury and will be rejoining them next year.
Despite their significant support of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, many LEOs have never heard of the Police Unity Tour. We were guilty of this ourselves, but have since rectified that problem. The Police Unity Tour started back in 1997 with founder Pat Montuore, Harry Phillips and 16 other riders. That year they raised and donated $18,000 to the NLEOMF.
Last year they raised over $1.5 million. This year will push them over ten million dollars.
“Each rider is responsible for raising $1800,” the deputy explained. “We’re responsible for that. All of it goes to the Police Unity Tour, they present a check for all of it to the Craig Floyd of the NLEOMF.
The four WCSO deputies will be one small part of a group over 1100 riders from multiple chapters across the country. There will be riders from other countries as well. Together they will ride over 350 miles in a little less than four days, beginning in Florham Park NJ (where the Unity Tour began) and ending at the Memorial.
From what we saw, Sheriff Haley (a 26 year law enforcement veteran) is remarkably supportive of the deputies going to ride. He also looks like something out of a Zane Grey novel in person, but that’s another story.
“He’s a great guy, the Sheriff,” a deputy told us. “He’s extremely supportive of the guys. I was lucky to have him as a sergeant, then a lieutenant, then as a captain on our team…we’ve been lucky to work for him all the way up.”
At the end of the night, before the (off duty) deputies and their guests began to filter out and go their separate ways, Sheriff Mike Haley pledged $500 out of his own pocket to support the WCSO riding team.
The Unity Tour does more than just fund the bulk of the work and maintenance of the Memorial (for several years now they’ve been the single largest NLEOMF benefactor). They have also pledged to fun the new NLEOMF Museum and Hall of Remembrance.
The riders will stop each night and fill four hotels, with support elements in vehicles handling luggage and support. They will ride all day, typically two approximately 80 mile days and two approximately 60 mile days, regardless of weather or conditions. The only time in the history of the ride they haven’t completed the ride was when the local Highway Patrol shut down all the roads due to a hurricane.
The WCSO team is still looking for sponsors to round out the funds for four riders. They can use donations of money or gear that could be used during the course (each will carry a 3-day pack, they need duffel bags and similar gear, “snivel kit”, etc.) Wild Things Tactical is helping them with cold/wet weather gear. Thus far all other support has been monetary, from private donors. If you’re interested in supporting them with money or gear, they will be riding with Chapter 1. The POC is Deputy Josh Iveson. He can be reached at JIveson(at)WashoeCounty.us, or you can contact the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office at http://www.washoesheriff.com/ or 775-328-3001.