Over 100 Boston-area police officers will ride motorcycles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus to the State House Saturday to raise awareness about the emotional turmoil that affects the families of fallen police officers.
The morning ride was organized by Ride4Cops, a national organization that supports the surviving families.
"Officers can't worry about getting hurt or killed. If they did that, they couldn't put on their badge and do their jobs. But they make a promise to each other. 'If something happens to me, take care of my family,'" said Ride4Cops founder Harry Herington, a former police officer. "(Ride4Cops) is me keeping that promise."
Between 140 and 160 officers are killed in the line of in the U.S. each year, Herington said, a statistic that motivates Herington to carry on with the work. Although the organization is based in Kansas, Herington has led similar rides across several state capitols.
The procession begins at 9:30 a.m. at the MIT campus, in honor MIT Police officer Sean Collier, a dedication that Herington said made sense.
"(Collier) was killed in the line of duty by people who committed a terrorist act. He fell in the line of duty protecting the students and citizens of Boston," he said.
Collier, 26, was shot dead by accused Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on April 18 on the MIT campus.
The ride then continues to the State House, where State Attorney General Martha Coakley and other officials will deliver speeches in honor of all the state’s fallen officers.
During the ceremony, The New England chapter of Concerns Of Police Survivors, also known as "C.O.P.S." will receive a check of $50,000 to send children to a camp program that provides grief counseling. C.O.P.S. has provided support for families of police officers killed in the line of duty since 1984.