CHICAGO -- Nearly 1,000 Chicago police officers and their supporters rode their motorcycles through the city's streets Sunday, honoring the sacrifice of fallen police officers as part of the 13th Ride to Remember.
The ride also raised over $20,000 for the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation that will help pay school tuition for the children of fallen and injured police officers. Seven officers have been shot so far this year.
"If you were to ask anyone of these policemen who were killed in the line of duty, 'what do you want us to do?' They would say, ‘take care of my family,' so that’s what we’re doing," said Phil Cline, Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
Cline said they pick up the tuition costs for 20 children who are currently in school from pre-school to graduate school.
Former CPD Officer Andre Van Vegten served for more than 10 years before being seriously injured in a crash in January, 1997. He said his daughter was one of those helped by the foundation.
"I was chasing some gangbangers who had just done a drive by shooting at Leclaire Courts," Van Vegten said. "Somebody cut into my lane of traffic and I ended up crashing into one of those concrete planters."
Today, he serves as photographer for the foundation’s events, as show of gratitude for an organization that’s stood by him for two decades, including helping with his daughter's school fees.
"We’re just hoping that people realize what a dangerous job it is and appreciate what cops do," Cline said. "That’s why cops really appreciate when they see people do stuff like this."