LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The 16th annual Benefit Ride for Kentucky Concerns of Police Survivors or COPS took over Lexington Saturday afternoon. The ride raises money for the organization to help families and friends of officers who have died while on duty.
Organizers told WKYT about 100 riders are expected. Tickets were $20 a motorcycle plus $10 for a passenger.
“Life moves forward and they don’t have as much company, they don’t have as many friends stopping by and many phone calls or texts. That’s why it’s so important for folks like these who run COPS, they have a network that tries to keep up with families and they’re there if needed,” said Lexington Sergeant Billy Richmond said.
Richmond has served as an officer for 29 years and said he knows how difficult losing an officer can be.
“We lost Officer Brian Durman back in April of 2010 on duty. He was struck by a vehicle and passed away shortly after,” Richmond said.
Durman’s wife Brandy became familiar with COPS shortly after, sending her son to a camp where he was able to meet others like him.
“He attended the COPS kids’ camp in Wisconsin and met other kids that went through the same loss and for the first time he felt like he belonged, “said Brandy Durman-Toombs.
Brandy began to get more involved in COPS and now serves as President of the Kentucky Chapter.
She said fundraisers like the Benefit Ride allow families to receive counseling, attend retreats and watch their fallen loved ones' name be added to the law enforcement memorial in D.C. during Police Week.
"Just to put it in perspective some years we've had as many as 80 family members attend police week,” Durman-Toombs said.
The Benefit Ride is put on by the Blue Knights of Kentucky.