GREEN BAY, WI (WFRV) – Chad Beres of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office spoke with Local 5 News Tuesday, just moments after completing 116 miles with Wisconsin Riders.
The non-profit made up of law enforcement and survivors of law enforcement will rendezvous in Washington D.C. Thursday as part of National Police Week.
“A little sore,” Beres said via zoom. “A little sore is a good word. My legs are a little achy. But, nothing that a little ibuprofen and a hot shower and stretch don’t fix.”
There are two rides happening. The Police Unity Tour and the Law Enforcement United ride.
The bracelets the bicyclists wear have the names of the fallen. He’s wearing three bracelets in memory of three Wisconsin officers.
Wisconsin State Trooper Daniel Stainbrook and Fond du Lac Police Officer Joseph Kurer both succumbed to Covid-19. And Milwaukee Police Officer Mark Lentz also died of health-related issues.
Beres said looking at those namest keeps them going either when the bike breaks down or when their emotions take over.
“We’re riding for them,” he explained. “So anytime the ride gets really hard all we have to do is look down at your wrists and it brings you home as to why you’re doing what you’re doing.”
Beres has served as a key leader in the group since around 2010. He can only recall a couple of times when they’ve been met with hostility.
School kids to seniors have joined them in paying tribute. Sometimes they stop at a police station or school and share a moment of silence.
“There have only been a few times when there have been bad receptions,” he recalled. “People will stand at the side of the road and yell derogatory stuff. We have security for that. And we just ignore it. We keep going on.”
After all, they have to conserve their strength for the moment when they meet the family of the officer on their bracelet and hand it over to them.
“It’s a gift from all of us to show them that we won’t forget our brother, our sister in law enforcement. And we’re there to support the survivors.”