For the first time in the organization's 25-year history, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has added a new member to its Board of Directors. Meeting in Washington, DC, NLEOMF board members voted unanimously to add the Police Unity Tour to the group of law enforcement organizations that oversee operations of the Memorial Fund. Harry E. Phillips, executive director of the Unity Tour, will serve as the organization's representative on the NLEOMF board.
"The Police Unity Tour understands our mission as well as anyone, and its leaders and members work extremely hard to ensure that those officers who made the ultimate sacrifice are never forgotten," said NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig Floyd.
With a motto of "We ride for those who died," the Police Unity Tour was organized in 1997 by then Officer—now Chief of Police—Patrick Montuore of the Florham Park (NJ) Police Department as a way to raise awareness of law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty. In May 1997, 18 riders bicycled four days from New Jersey to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, for National Police Week, raising $18,000 for the Memorial Fund.
Today, the group includes several chapters and hundreds of members and supporters. In 2008, more than 1,100 riders make the trip to DC from starting points in New Jersey and Virginia, raising $1.25 million for the NLEOMF and its campaign to the first-ever National Law Enforcement Museum. The Unity Tour has pledged $5 million to the Museum campaign and is the supporter of the Hall of Remembrance, where the stories of America's fallen law enforcement heroes will be told. Chief Montuore remains the organization's CEO.
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund was established in October 1984 as a private non-profit organization dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America's law officers and to promoting officer safety.
Fifteen prominent U.S. law enforcement organizations have been represented on the NLEOMF Board of Directors since its founding: Concerns of Police Survivors, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary, International Association of Chiefs of Police, International Brotherhood of Police Officers, International Union of Police Associations/AFL-CIO, National Association of Police Organizations, National Black Police Association, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, National Sheriffs' Association, National Troopers Coalition, Police Executive Research Forum, Police Foundation and United Federation of Police.