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Cops Cycling for Survivors Honors Local Heroes

Law enforcement officers from across Indiana are making their annual ride through the state, with a mission to honor each of their fellow brothers in blue.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 7:14 PM
Updated: Jul 20, 2021 8:48 PM

Law enforcement officers from across Indiana are making their annual ride through the state, with a mission to honor each of their fellow brothers in blue.

Cops Cycling for Survivors is on day 9 of their 13-day journey.

It’s an organization that raises awareness for the friends and families of Hoosier law enforcement who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Riders include active law enforcement, retired officers, and several others.

The journey takes them through many different cities and cemeteries to honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Graveside ceremonies took place in Gibson County for Princeton Officer Harrison Hitch, Deputy Jed Fisher, Trooper Joe Trees, and Oakland City Officer Mike Deno.

In 2000, at age 24, Officer Deno was fatally shot during a traffic stop.

Now, 21 years later, his family and Cops Cycling for Survivors are keeping his memory alive.

“He was the jokester of the family. He made everybody laugh,” says Jenny Strickland, Officer Deno’s older sister.

“They're wonderful men and women and some are survivors who are riding. Some retired principals, retired FBI. I mean, they come from everywhere. It's amazing what they've done,” she says.

Born and raised in Gibson County, Officer Deno loved sports, Halloween, and everything that a typical 24-year-old loves to do. His life still greatly impacts the community he came from.

“People we don't even know, not from here and they stop and see him. We will walk over and say, 'do you know him?' ‘No, but we've heard he was here.’ People leave things, coins, they leave all kinds of stuff and no one bothers it and we really do appreciate it,” Jenny says.

The pain and suffering the bikers feel during their cycling journey is nothing compared to, what they say, friends and families left behind feel on a daily basis.

“You have no idea what they go into. A traffic stop, a battery situation. You just don't know. When they walk out that door, you don't know if they're coming home,” Jenny told 44News.

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We're waking up to dry and cold conditions this Tuesday morning. As we head into the afternoon, temperatures won't rise much. Highs are only going to be in the mid to upper 30s. Skies will be mostly cloudy with a chance of flurries overnight. It won't be a big snow by any stretch, but you could see some flurries flying Tuesday night into Wednesday morning around the Tri-State. Don't expect more than a dusting, with greater chances falling north of I-64.
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