On what would have otherwise been a rainy weekend, 80 local law enforcement officers revved their engines Sunday at the start of a 46-mile ride for fallen colleagues.
Organized by the County’s Correction Officers Benevolent Association, the fourth annual Memorial Motorcycle Ride began in Croton-on-Hudson and ended at the gates of the Westchester County Department of Correction on the Grasslands campus.
The motorcyclists and their passengers began the ride by passing under American flags extended from the ladders of firetrucks of the Montrose and Croton-on-Hudson Fire departments.
The ride then passed through residential areas, farmlands and commercial areas of the county, covering 46 miles and ending at the staff entrance to the correctional facility.
Each of the 46 miles of the ride represented a correction officer who passed away while still employed by the County. The 46th mile of this year’s ride honored Correction Officer Kathleen Callicutt of Yonkers, who passed away in January at the age of 43.
“Correction officers’ life expectancies are significantly lower than the national average," said Correction Officer Scott Delfa, the event organizer and a 29-year member of service. "By the nature of what we do, we are exposed to stressors and situations not common in other work environments. Today, we want to recognize those members who have passed before us.”
At the conclusion of the ride, the jail’s Spiritual Care Director Father Paul Tolve conducted a remembrance ceremony and was assisted by riders in laying a wreath at the facility’s south gate.
In addition to Westchester, officers from seven other local police agencies, as well as the New York State Police and the MTA, participated in the event.
Proceeds have been dedicated to the installation of a garden of remembrance at the facility.
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