Officers from the Champaign and University of Illinois Police Department are gearing up this week to take part in the 13th Annual C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) “Cycle Across Illinois” event – a charity ride that recognizes fallen police officers and raises funds to assist families during their healing process.
Officers David McLearin, Stephen Vogel, and John Nickell of the Champaign Police Department; and Sgt. Aaron Landers of the University of Illinois Police will gather with approximately 60 other participants from across Illinois in the 300-mile, 4-day bike trek.
Starting in Alton, IL and finishing in Maywood, cyclists will ride an average of 75 miles per day while stopping at various posts along the route to honor the contributions of law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.
Leading up to the event, the C.O.P.S. charity race asks participants to raise a minimum of $600 per rider, which goes towards the Concerns of Police Survivors, Illinois Chapter and the surviving family and loves ones of fallen officers. Collectively, McLearin, Vogel, Nickell and Landers have raised approximately $4,500.
“It’s an honor for us to be able to recognize these officers and to help raise funds that support children, spouses and other family members during some very difficult times,” shared Champaign Police Officer Stephen Vogel. “Our fellow officers made the ultimate sacrifice, and their families have made twice as much. This event provides a way for us to give our support and for them to know that they are not alone or forgotten.”
Included in the recognition stops, C-U officers will pay tribute to Champaign Police Officer Robert Tatman who died in the line of duty November 25, 1967. This year marks Tatman’s 50-year line of duty death, which is being recognized with a year-long commemoration.
For more information on C.O.P.S. and the 13th Annual Cycle Across Illinois, visit www.ilcops.org