Just minutes after completing a 630-mile, four-day bicycle ride from Sacramento to Westminster, Sgt. Kevin MacCormick of Westminster PD was asked the obvious question: Why did you do it?
MacCormick became too emotional to speak.
But his tears spoke volumes.
The Westminster police officer was among close to 30 officers from three agencies who just trekked by bicycle from the California Peace Officer’s Memorial in Sacramento to the memorial outside the Westminster police department to honor officers lost in the line of duty.
The ride coincided with National Police Week and was organized to honor peace officers who’ve lost their lives in the line of duty and to raise money for families of those fallen officers.
The cyclists, who hailed from Westminster and Tustin PD and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, were divided into three groups, which each group riding from 50 to 80 miles a day.
The cyclists raised $32,000, with $15,000 coming from Westminster PD’s Code 3 Cycling group and $17,000 from the OC Sheriff’s Project 999
Upon arriving, the riders circled the memorial and held a moment of silence to remember their fallen brothers.
Then they exchanged hugs and high-fives with each other and with the 50 or so family members and friends who were there to welcome them home.
“I’m fully supportive,” said Heidi MacCormick, wife of Sgt. Kevin MacCormick.” I think it’s awesome. I think what they go through, in the four days that the do and the miles they put on the bike and what they do to their bodies in support of the families of fallen officers … I think it’s phenomenal. I can’t respect them enough for doing what they do.”
MacCormick helped organize the ride along with his friend and partner, Sgt. Bill Drinnin, who also got choked up when asked why he had just subjected his body to such punishment.
“The little bit of pain that we feel as we do this doesn’t even scratch the surface for the pain of the families (of fallen officers),” Drinnin said.
Westminster Deputy Chief Dan Schoonmaker, who was also among the cyclists, said the journey down the coast was not simply a bike ride.
“It’s about getting together and remembering the guys who came before us and who paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Schoonmaker said. “Officers give their lives for their community. We have to honor them.”
WPD’s fallen officers include: Lt. Ron Weber, Sr., Sgt. Markus Frank and Officer Steve Phillips.
Weber died in June 2003 from cancer he contracted while investigating methamphetamine labs.
Phillips was fatally injured in January 2004 in an on-duty traffic collision, and Frank died of a work-related illness in 2007.