A former Texas detective who has dedicated his life to supporting families of fallen police officers led about 40 officers and civilians in a charity motorcycle ride in Frankfort Tuesday.
Harry Herington, founder of Ride4Cops, a non-profit organization, stopped in Frankfort as part of a series of charity rides in the capitals of all 50 states.
He has ridden in 15 state capitals and Washington, D.C. Wednesday, he is scheduled to ride in Charleston, W.Va.
Herington said he presented a check for $2,000 to a local chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, a non-profit organization that supports family members of police officers who are killed in the line of duty. COPS provides camps for kids, retreats for spouses, counseling for families and other services.
The donation consisted of $1,000 from Herington and $1,000 from his employees at NIC Inc., a Kansas company that provides Web services to government agencies, including Kentucky's on Kentucky.gov.
Several riders then rode to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial at the Department of Criminal Justice in Richmond. There, riders helped raise money for Katherine Thacker, 14, who is participating in a COPS charity walk, Herington said.
Thacker is the daughter of Alcoholic Beverage Control officer Brandon Thacker, who was shot and killed while on his way to an undercover assignment in 1998. Katherine Thacker was 11/2, Herington said.
He said 639 officers have lost their lives in Kentucky. In 2011, 81 officers nationwide already have been killed in the line of duty. "We're on track now for an extremely scary number this year," he said.
The ride was meant to raise awareness of the "emotional and financial" difficulties faced by the families of officers killed in the line of duty, Herington said.