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Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

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Nationwide Summit for Heroes to Honor Fallen Officers During National Police Week

April 20, 2006  | 

Expedition teams of law enforcement officers will climb the highest peaks in their states on May 20 as they participate in the Summit for Heroes and honor law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

Cops on Top and The Force are organizing and sponsoring the Summit for Heroes, which will include climbing expeditions to Mount McKinley in Alaska, Mount Whitney in California, Mount Rainier in Washington, Mount Marcy in New York, and more than 40 other peaks.

The climbs will take place during National Police Week, May 14-20, and expedition teams are expected to summit on May 20. Family, friends, and law enforcement organizations nominate the fallen officers on whose behalf the Cops on Top teams climb.

"As a participant, and sometimes as an expedition leader, I have been with Cops on Top climbers on the summits of mountains throughout North America and the world," says Sgt. Keith McPheeters, founder of Cops on Top, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty. "Yet, it is the touching and heartfelt letters and calls from the families and friends of the fallen officers for whom we are climbing that make these expeditions so special to us. The summit attempts on several expeditions were under particularly grueling and brutal conditions, but those struggles pale compared to the difficulties faced every day by the surviving family members of our fallen comrades. I am honored and privileged to climb on their behalf."

The Summit for Heroes is funded by The Force, a maker of law enforcement and public safety uniforms and a division of VF Imagewear, Inc. During May, The Force also will match donations up to $20,000 made to Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS), a non-profit organization that assists families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

"We are humbled by this opportunity to be a part of something that is so special," says Janet Rives, marketing manager for VF Imagewear. "Law enforcement officers put their lives in danger every time they put on their uniforms, and the sacrifices they make enable us to live better lives. We are proud to sponsor the Summit for Heroes that ensures their sacrifice will never be forgotten."

Cops on Top expedition teams made multiple, simultaneous climbs in 2002, 2003 and 2004 to high points around the United States to memorialize fire and police personnel who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. In 2005, Cops on Top teams climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in the Russian Federation, and Mount McKinley in Denali National Park, Alaska.

Visit www.theforceonline.com/copsontop for information about the Summit for Heroes.

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