From Gabrielle Leon, daughter of Fallen CPD Officer Wayne Leon, end of watch June 25, 2000:
I have the honor of participating in the Law Enforcement United bike ride during National Police Week in May 2022. This is a 250-mile bike ride that will start in New Jersey and end in Washington, DC. This bike ride has the dual purpose of remembering and honoring fallen law enforcement officers while also raising money for organizations like The Road to Hope, Concerns of Police Survivors, The Officer Down Memorial Page, and Spirit of Blue Foundation.
Through C.O.P.S., I began attending events like C.O.P.S. Kids Camp, Outward Bound, and Adult Children’s Retreat. The families at these programs all lost a loved one in the line of duty as well. I finally felt like I was around people who “get it.” I could relate to others about my struggles of understanding a world without my dad in it. These friendships made at Kids Camp, OB, and AC are worth more than gold to me.
This year, I was able to return to Kids Camp as a mentor. I watched as these little campers made friends they will hold close to their hearts for their entire lives, just as I still do.
C.O.P.S. and their hands-on programs like Kids Camp and Outward Bound have given me friendships, love, and support that have helped me get to where I am today. I am honored to be able to honor these brave men and women and humbled to have the support of so many.